April 29, 2015

Meet Joan Norton


I am a Texas licensed Attorney-Mediator who has worked with families, juveniles, and individuals to solve problems both inside and outside the legal system in my various job capacities since 1988.

Presently I am limiting my practice to mediation, court-appointed CPS cases, and parenting facilitation cases under the Texas Family Code. I am a strong advocate for families. I believe that all children deserve a stable and loving home that is as conflict-free as possible.

Unfortunately, in family law litigation, I have seen first-hand that the parental conflicts played out inside and outside of court can damage the children and drain the parents’ resources both emotionally and financially. Don’t let this happen to you.

<<<Litigation pits parents against each other. 

<<<Parental conflict hurts children. 

I believe a better way to address the parental disagreements is through a process of Mediation and/or Parenting Facilitation.

Litigating a family law matter should be your last resort, not your first option, in my opinion.   

I do this work because:

  • Science has confirmed that high-conflict parental relationships have long-term negative effects on the child; 
  • Mediation and/or Facilitation are often more productive to the co-parenting relationship (which benefits your child) than criticizing your child’s other parent in court.
  • Parents feel angry, frustrated, and bitter over being “taken to court”; moreover, it can sew the seeds of even more –not less– parental conflict in the future.

Mediation often improves the communication between the co-parents and lays the groundwork for a future co-parenting relationship that is constructive and easier on everyone, especially the children.

You may not want a co-parenting relationship, but your child needs you to have it, and you do it because you love your child.

The guidepost in helping children should always be what is in the best interest of the child. 

In addition to being an Attorney-Mediator and Parenting Facilitator, I am a child of divorce myself and later experienced my own divorce as an adult. Presently, I am happily married and the parent of a teen.

You benefit from my background because I deeply understand both the joys and the challenges of family life. My style is calm, patient, persistent, child-focused, and budget-conscious. During a mediation or facilitation, I am able to ask the relevant questions and uncover the unseen options that help help you generate a solution that moves you closer to your goal. 

Some other things you may wish to know about me:  I have worked as a university-level professor of legal studies and served as a CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocate) and Guardian ad Litem for children through CASA of Travis County. I am a life-long learner and I love to take courses both online and in-person. I enjoy painting, walking the dog, and spending time with my family.

Oh, and I want to introduce you to my Border Collie, Abbie. Abbie is a rescue dog from The Austin Dog Alliance, and here she is: 


Pet therapy

Thank you for stopping by. 

Remember: Your children are counting on you to keep the parental conflict low so their childhood experience and long-term happiness can be high. 

If you are considering Mediation or Parenting Facilitation, please ask your attorney to contact me.

Disclaimer: This website and all of its contents is for general educational and informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice, medical advice, or therapy. If you would like legal advice, please consult an attorney. If you would like mental health advice, please consult a licensed counselor or therapist.

If I accept your case, I will be acting as your mediator or parenting facilitator. I will not be acting as your attorney and I will not be giving you legal advice.