One parent should never make a feeding decision for the child unilaterally…
“It is amazing to see a parent get a second chance and run with it,” says Jessica. “A good outcome is when a family is able to move forward and find a good schedule for their children, especially when both parents agree to put the children first.”
Although she moved around a lot due to her father’s work with environmental issues for the federal government, Jessica Arthur has sweet memories of her high school years in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The scent of chocolate wafted in the air from nearby Hershey and its eponymous chocolate factory, and free samples were plentiful. She fondly recalls their hot cocoa, the best she’s ever had.
After a tour of East Carolina University, Jessica’s post-high school plans were set. She was enthralled by the natural beauty of the area and ended up meeting her best friend there during college. She didn’t spend all her undergraduate years in the state, however. Her spirit of adventure led her to a study abroad program in Germany, where she enjoyed learning about the area’s history and enjoying the natural beauty during her academic year there.
Jessica knew she wanted to pursue family law even then, so her next move was to Virginia to study at Appalachian School of Law. She’d had a good idea of the career path she wanted since high school. She worked at a summer camp for kids where she met a boy with muscular dystrophy who touched her heart. Levi’s mom hired Jessica to care for him regularly after school, and she saw some of the family’s challenges due to divorce. She’s still in touch with him and his family, and he’s still her “little man,” even though he’s fully grown now.
In law school, she met Brian. She admits that she thought of him as a “snotty know-it-all” at first, but he persisted and won her over, and they’re now happily married. Jessica knew she wanted to be near the beach in the long term after law school. She’d had enough winters during her years in Pennsylvania to last a lifetime, so in 2009 they moved to Wilmington on the North Carolina coast.
Brian went into practice right away, while Jessica pursued other work for a time as the couple settled into life after school. When she took the state bar exam in 2013, she knew where she was going next. She’d been shadowing Janet and was ready to step into the courtroom with her, literally. Jessica went from the swearing-in ceremony in one courtroom to another courtroom just down the hall, where she sat second-chair with Janet on a family law matter.
Since then, she’s helped families get through one of the most challenging times in their lives. A former client told Jessica, “You helped me come out of my cocoon and become a beautiful butterfly,” and she’s taken that metaphor to heart. The challenges of the job are balanced with rewarding moments of seeing clients transition from a time of uncertainty and change to being ready for the next phase of their life.
At home, she stays busy with two little ones. Heather Abigail is four years old, and Joshua Alexander is a year and a half. Both go by their middle names; each got their first names from “honorary” aunts and uncles. Since both Jessica and Brian are only children, they got to choose their family beyond their parents.
Looking forward, Jessica anticipates many more joys and struggles in helping people find resolutions to their family law challenges. She knows she’s got the best team she could imagine on her side, as she’s surrounded by a team of supportive and caring colleagues at Cape Fear Family Law.