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Our Story

Posted by Liz Dalton, Sara Dickson, Chelsi Rasmussen on

Liz Dalton, J.D.: I am the founder of Rise Strong After Divorce.com. I am a family law attorney who specializes in mediation. I also do marriage coaching, divorce, and step family consulting.

In 1989, a divorce was inevitable in my marriage. At the time, I was a litigator at a big Salt Lake City law firm. I was married to a trial attorney at another big Salt Lake City law firm. My husband and I had two young daughters, ages 6 and 2, and we both wanted to spend as much time caring for them as possible after our divorce. In 1989, the only option for resolving custody issues in Utah was litigation in the family court system. The thought of us litigating our divorce—litigators hiring other litigators—seemed ridiculous. My husband and I wanted a peaceful and amicable divorce. And, we did not want to traumatize our daughters with a custody battle. It made no sense to us to spend all the money we had saved for our children’s college education for litigation expenses. What a nightmare. So, I began to research alternatives.

I discovered mediation. I flew to Boulder, Colorado and was trained by therapists in how to peacefully settle divorce and custody issues as a mediator. I learned about the principles of successful co-parenting and how to help my children heal from the trauma of divorce. The first divorce case I mediated was my own.

My husband and I settled our divorce and designed a shared parenting plan in two weeks. For over two decades my co-parent and I have cooperatively raised our two daughters. Our daughters have healed from a parental divorce and are two extraordinary young women.

After I settled my own divorce case, I began pioneering family mediation in Utah.

In time, I remarried and began a new relationship with three fabulous step children. I had the personal experience as a step mom of going through 2 custody evaluations with my new husband. This custody litigation resulted in my new husband gaining a more generous shared custody arrangement with his children. For 13 years, I navigated the challenges of creating a step family.

My mediation firm now employs my daughter and my step daughter as Kids Coaches. They provide support and educational interventions to assist children and adolescents learn how to heal and navigate life after a parental divorce or separation. When requested, my firm refers clients to a CPA and certified divorce planner as a resource in designing financial settlements.

Sara Dickson, MSC/SC: I am Liz Dalton’s oldest daughter. I have a master’s degree in counseling. Over the past 10 years I have worked with “at risk” youth and their families. I have counseled and coached adolescents, young adults and their parents by teaching life skills. I have helped families with communication, emotional management, learning empathy, and learning how to move forward with their lives. I have helped individuals deal with trauma in healthy and positive ways.

I have experienced being a child of divorce, moving back and forth between parents, navigating difficult step parents, healing from emotional abuse, and growing up in two homes. I enjoy teaching skills and navigation strategies to teenagers, young adults and parents and helping them face whatever trouble, crisis or trauma arises in their lives.

Chelsi Rasmussen, BS Social Work: I am Chelsi Rasmussen. I am a step daughter of Liz Dalton. I have a B.S. in social work and provide Kids Coaching Services. I have served as a child advocate for the Academy of Child and Family Services in Provo, Utah. I have taught parenting classes at the Family Support and Treatment Center in Orem, Utah. I have worked with post adoption families regarding family adjustment issues. I specialize in working with children who want to heal from child abuse, trauma and divorce adjustment issues. I am a child who has successfully navigated divorce and all of its many challenges.

Liz Dalton, J.D.: In our firm, we specialize in working with families who want to heal. We work selectively with families who are dedicated to healing, growing and moving forward. We help families settle issues outside of the legal system. If your family is stuck in a legal process, we help you get out.

If you are someone who cares about your family, your children and your own personal healing, we can assist you. After all, I know from personal experience that if two litigators can settle their divorce and custody battle in 2 weeks and learn how to successfully co-parent, it is possible for you to learn to do that too!