Collaborative lawyers have an attorney-client retainer agreement that confirms their collaborative law arrangement, including a promise to try in good faith to resolve the dispute without resort to litigation, and that if the matter goes to court the attorneys for both sides will be disqualified from any further participation.
My name is Valerie Anne Demming and I am a Mental Health Professional and Child Specialist with Alaska Association of Collaborative Professionals. I am an experienced therapist who has worked with children, adolescents, individuals, couples, and families for the last 25 years.
I was born and raised in Palmer, Alaska and attended college at University of Alaska Fairbanks and graduated with a Bachelors in Education with a minor in Psychology in 1975. In 1984 I graduated with a Masters in Community Counseling with a certification in Elementary School Counseling. I was employed as an elementary teacher for thirteen years and ten years as an Elementary School Counselor in the Fairbanks area. After moving to Anchorage in 2002, I attended Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center graduating with my Doctorate in Psychology in 2009. I have operated my Private Counseling Practice since 1993 in Fairbanks and now in Anchorage.
I have extensive knowledge in the area of child development and behavior. I have worked in the counseling setting with numerous children whose parents are in the process of divorcing or have obtained a divorce. I have additional training from The Grief and Loss Center in Ft. Collins Colorado, which has been invaluable with my work with children, and adults who have gone through or are going through the divorce process.
My work for my doctorate was focused on Self-Injury of female adolescents. I have counseled many teens, male and female, that have chosen this behavior to cope with life stressors. Another focus of my practice is working with clients that have been physically, emotionally, or sexually abused.
I appreciate and am dedicated to working with the other professionals and clients in the Collaborative divorce process as we work together to assist our clients in a dignified and civil manner to come together to make decisions concerning their lives.
My goal is to make your divorce or other family dispute as respectful and dignified as possible. Family disputes are stressful and often expensive, but they should not wreck your life. In fact, they can open the way to a better, more peaceful future for you and your family. I have over thirty years of experience in family law, and this gives me the tools to help you find ways to resolve your problems in the best way possible.
Effective resolution of disputes often requires getting help from other professionals or resources in the community. You might need a family counselor, a business valuation expert, or help understanding your Social Security benefits. I use my wealth of contacts in the community to find you the best help for your situation. Not every family problem is a legal problem, and not every problem should be solved by a lawyer. I can help you navigate the resources available to you.
I am dedicated to the collaborative model for resolving divorce and family matters. I was the founding co-chair of Alaska Association of Collaborative Professionals, the organization that brought the collaborative divorce process to Alaska. It is probably safe to say that I have handled as many collaborative divorces as any lawyer in Alaska. This work is my passion because it works for you, the client. I feel so much better knowing I am helping to preserve my client’s dignity, privacy, and peace of mind.
I received my law degree from U.C. Davis King Hall School of Law in 1980, and clerked for the Alaska Supreme Court and for Betty Binns Fletcher on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. I co-own of a boutique firm, Mendel Colbert & Associates, Inc. I served six years on the Alaska Bar Board of Governors. I sit on the National Center for Lesbian Rights National Family Law Advisory Council, an invitation-only group of experienced family lawyers from across the country. I have presented numerous trainings to lawyers and to the public on family law, ethics, and the law of same-sex relationships.
I look forward to helping you.