Georgia Newman, a Palm Beach County marital and family lawyer, has spent three decades helping spouses and families through some of the most stressful situations in their lives.
“It’s rewarding to make a positive impact on people’s lives,” Newman said. “It is under these circumstances, faced with complex issues and the need to resolve them, that I thrive. I try to get the clients to focus on the case and minimize the emotional aspect of the situation. I explain to each client, whether or not they want the divorce that they will be happier within a year once they remove the weight of an unhappy relationship and move forward with their new lives.”
One of the most challenging issues Newman faces is the expectation of instantaneous responses in today’s electronically connected world. Newman prides herself on getting back to both clients and opposing counsel as soon as possible, usually the same day, while ensuring that each communication is well thought out and researched if necessary. I love the challenges presented by each unique situation and try to craft the best resolution for each client depending on their circumstances,” she said.
Newman chose this area of practice following her graduation from the University of Florida law school. “Law school was particularly fun for me because my husband and I went through law school together and we were in many of the same classes. After law school, I was fortunate enough to work with two premier family law firms. I was also in-house counsel for a financial institution for a period of time which provided me with a better understanding of the business world. In 2007, after my children were no longer at an age when they needed me home, I was able to make the leap and open my own boutique family law firm.”
What’s in the future for this Palm Beach County attorney? “I am focused on educating and mentoring attorneys,” she said. “I am trying to make an impact on legal education and professionalism in the practice of law. This is important both for young attorneys as well as for the many attorneys who have expanded their practice to family law in recent years. I also believe it’s important to be involved in organizations, get to know people in other practice areas, and give back to the community.” Newman is president-elect of the Craig S. Barnard American Inn of Court and immediate past chair of the family law continuing legal education committee for the Palm Beach County Bar.
She is also carefully watching the Florida Legislature for a potentially radical change in the law for alimony and custody. “ Last year Gov. Scott vetoed the law,” she said, “but the forces behind that bill are hard at work to make some legal fixes this year and pass the legislation again. Should it become law in 2014 or thereafter, there may be a significant increase in both the filing of dissolution of marriage proceedings, particularly by men, as well as modification actions both in terms of support (alimony or child support) and timesharing (custody) issues. This will likely increase the amount of family law litigation throughout the state.”
When Newman is not working, she loves to travel. She has been great white shark cage diving off the coast of South Africa, traveled on safari, explored partially submerged caves in Belize and gone white water rafting. She also enjoys theater, movies, reading, and spending time with family and friends.