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Derek's Story

In 2013, I was 22 with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications in one hand and an acceptance letter to Monterey College of Law in the other. Earlier that year I proposed to my fiancé. We shared a beautiful home in the hills behind Monterey, California. I truly felt I had everything mapped out. Two years later, we filed for divorce. All the confidence and surety went out the window the moment I was served with papers. Halfway through law school and divorced, I felt defeated.
That summer, I took a mediation class through my law school. I enveloped myself in the world of dispute resolution, searching for answers and closure.


Through my endeavors, I began to understand the art that is communication. My experiences revealed to me that the cornerstone of any healthy human dynamic begins with meaningful engagement. Over the next decade I provided mediation services ranging from eviction proceedings to child custody. While these various outlets all held a certain legal undercurrent, I found that resolution came most swiftly when arguments predicated on law were removed from the equation. I worked with clients to use direct language with one another.  Wanting to share the tools I had gained through my practice and education in mediation, I decided to dedicate my life toward teaching the tools of dispute resolution. Today, I work toward providing clients with not only resolution, but with a deeper of understanding of how to communicate with one another.




Mary has worked in the family court field since 2008. She has experience conducting parenting time evaluations, family assessments, co-parent education and coaching, co-facilitating classes for children, parenting plan assistance, and mediation. Mary has extensive experience working with high conflict families, parents and children experiencing mental health challenges, substance misuse, domestic violence, parent-child contact problems, and resist-refuse dynamics, to name a few.


In addition to working in family courts, Mary worked in varying capacities with Ada County Juvenile Court – Clinical Services from 2010-2012. In this capacity, she primarily worked with juveniles housed in the detention facility, which included individual therapy, family therapy, and substance abuse treatment. From 2013-2015 Mary served as the Canyon County Domestic Violence Court Coordinator. While in this role, Mary worked with offenders, victims, and stakeholders, including judges, prosecuting attorneys, public defense attorneys, probation, intervention providers, and numerous other partners.


Mary has successfully built programs and services for families and children. She collaborates and partners with professionals who work in the private sector, as well as partners who work within the system and public sector. Mary has participated in numerous organizations and committees. She recently served as Co-Chair of the statewide Family Court Services Subcommittee from 2019-2021. This subcommittee leads the seven Judicial District Family Courts with innovative and collaborative strategies and ideas.  Since 2016, Mary currently serves on the Domestic Assault and Battery Evaluator Advisory Board. This Board oversees and qualifies domestic violence evaluators. Mary has also served on other committees and working groups, including the Domestic Violence Evaluation ICR 33.3 Working Group, from 2014 to current, and was past president and secretary of the Canyon County Domestic Violence Task Force, 2013-2015. Mary has initiated and co-created several programs related to domestic violence and family courts, including Domestic Violence Impact Panels, Strengthening Relationships (10-Week DV offender education), Co-Parent Mediation Workshops, Bridging Two Homes Co-Parent Coaching, and Focus on Children Co-Parent Education, to name a few.


Mary is a Montana native and attended University of Montana-Western before moving to Boise, Idaho. She graduated from Boise State University, earning Associate Degree in Criminal Justice in 2009, Bachelor degree in Psychology in 2009, and Graduate degree in Social Work in 2011. Mary enjoys spending her free time with her family and their 3 dogs, Pippi Longstocking, Sunny McBunny, and Anna Ruth Bader Ginsburg Belle.

Mary's Story

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