Cordell & Cordell Atlanta divorce attorney Kevin Mammola says one of Atlanta’s best qualities also presents one of the biggest challenges when it comes to practicing family law.
There’s a lot going on in Atlanta – where Mr. Mammola moved to when he was in high school. There are professional sports teams, major events and concerts, and a world-class airport with direct flights to pretty much everywhere.
In a roundabout way, the city’s transient nature ends up affecting a lot of families as they make their way through the family court system.
“Most people who live in Atlanta aren’t actually from Atlanta,” said Mr. Mammola, who received his bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University before earning his juris doctor from Florida Coastal School of Law. “We have people changing jobs all the time and the industries here lend themselves to a lot of people that use the airline industry for their jobs.”
“I’ve had to deal with a lot of people post-divorce where one parent wants to move back to where they’re from, and that can create a lot of custody issues if there are children involved.”
Additionally, Mr. Mammola must confront outdated gender stereotypes that are still prevalent in family courts in Atlanta and across the country.
“What I’ve dealt with time and time again is judges’ perceptions, based on their own experiences, that a child or children should be raised by their mother,” he said. “Sometimes they ignore the patterns that the family followed before the divorce that are probably more modern with shared parental responsibilities.”
As a father of two girls, ages 4 and 14 months, Mr. Mammola understands and appreciates the initial bonds that develop naturally between a mother and her child, but he also recognizes that too often the role fathers play in child raising is undervalued.
“Dads are there, too,” he said. “As a father, I spent a great deal of time changing the diapers, helping with feedings, waking up in the middle of the night. It’s a mistake to ignore the relationships that develop between fathers and their kids.”
Committed to helping
Despite these hurdles – in fact, due to them – he finds the profession of practicing family law rewarding. When clients walk through his door, they’re faced with a world of uncertainty, and it’s his job to try to ensure they are able to move on to the next chapter of their life.
“It’s certainly a problem-solving profession,” he said. “Regardless of whether or not you go to trial, you have the opportunity to help somebody through what is probably the most emotionally difficult time of their life. You’re working with people who are faced with losing their kids and have to bring them back to reality and let them know that we’re here to help.”
In his free time, Mr. Mammola loves nothing more than spending time with his daughters and wife.
He also enjoys playing basketball and exploring all the local attractions around Atlanta.
“Atlanta is a really big city that’s a little more livable than some cities, like New York,” he said.