Kids First Law CenterEmail 515-414-9562 Website
Kids First Law Center
501 SW 7th Street, Suite G, Des Moines, IA 50309 (515) 414-9562 main (515) 410-9436 direct (515)249-7581 cell www.kidsfirstiowa.org
Diane is passionate about helping families. Personally, she has raised ten children, starting as a foster parent more than 20 years ago. “I see right in front of me my own kids whose birth parents struggle with mental illness, substance abuse, incarceration, and generational domestic violence. I learn from my kids every day, because they remind me of the realities of life as I practice family law.”
After graduating from Gustavus Adolphus College and The University of Michigan Law School, Diane represented low income persons in Ann Arbor, Muscatine, and Des Moines for over 25 years, most of that time as the supervising attorney of the family law unit at the Legal Aid Society of Polk County. She was most recently an associate at Carney & Appleby, where she represented parents and children in divorce, custody, domestic violence and all other types of family law cases.
In her role as a child’s attorney at Kids First Law Center, she sees families from the children’s viewpoint. Diane is enthusiastic about the collaborative approach to handling family law problems, because it helps families maintain control of their lives. Everyone in the family benefits when parents have the tools to parent with clear expectations and minimal conflict. Diane and Kids First can be appointed to represent the children in collaborative divorce cases if there are complicated child-related issues in which the child’s view is vital to the parents’ agreement. Diane’s appointment to represent a child is appropriate where there are difficult custody or parenting issues but the parents nevertheless wish to resolve their case without resorting to litigation.
In addition to her work as a lawyer, Diane facilitates a continuing care group at Powell Chemical Dependency Center, is actively involved at Urbandale United Church of Christ and has served on the Walnut Street School PTO. She is a member of the Polk County Bar Association Family Law Committee, the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. She is the Legislative Chair of the Family & Juvenile Law Section of the Iowa State Bar and served on the Iowa Supreme Court Family Law Reform Task Force. Services provided:
1. Representation of children 2. Child-focused mediation (conference-style or caucus-style, single-session or extended, facilitative or transformative) 3. Early neutral evaluation of child-related issues 4. Parenting coordination