My law practice is limited to family issues, and I believe it is crucial to offer all possible options to assist clients through the divorce process: mediation, collaborative divorce, and litigation when necessary. I also prepare prenuptial agreements, and assist clients in post-judgment matters as well.
I have thirty years of experience in assisting families through difficult and complex restructuring, both in family court and probate court. I protect the rights of children in family cases as a Guardian ad Litem, and urge my clients to put the needs of their children in the forefront of any divorce negotiations or litigation. I treat my clients with empathy and compassion, and opposing counsel and parties in a firm yet respectful manner.
My practice incorporates concierge service (all of my clients have my cell phone number and are encouraged to call whenever a problem or question arises) with state of the art technology. My clients do not need to explain their issues to a receptionist or paralegal; I am available directly by cell phone or email seven days a week. This results in an efficient, cost-effective and personal method of practicing law. I limit the number of clients I serve at any one time to insure that each open matter receives my full attention and is resolved in a timely fashion. I offer early morning, evening and weekend hours to accommodate my clients’ schedules.
My practice focuses on three types of divorce:
- Collaborative divorce
Each family situation is unique, and some are best suited to different methods of divorce than others. During our initial conversation, we will explore the various options together and discuss which might be most appropriate for your matter.
Mediation. If a couple chooses mediation as their approach to get divorced, I do not represent either party, but rather act as a neutral facilitator to assist the parties in reaching an agreement on the restructuring of their family, after extensive general education and discussion regarding what standards and criteria Connecticut statutory and caselaw apply to determine the parameters of a “fair and equitable” settlement. Many misconceptions regarding what assets are included in a marital estate in Connecticut, how federal and state tax laws affect the net value of assets and income, and options which have worked successfully for other couples are discussed at length. Most mediation sessions take place with both the husband and the wife present, but each party also has the opportunity to speak with me privately to voice their respective concerns. I prepare various financial scenarios for the couple’s consideration, showing after-tax available income, budgets and net worth projections.
Sometimes, I refer the parties to a family therapist to discuss difficult issues regarding their children, in order for them to reach parenting decisions best designed to support their children through their family transition. Each party is encouraged, but not required, to consult with a separate attorney to advise them during the process, and review the Settlement Agreement before it is finalized. Once a final decision is reached, I draft a Settlement Agreement (and Parenting Plan if appropriate) and accompany the couple to court on the day of their divorce.
My hourly fee for mediation is significantly lower than for litigation, and no retainer is required. The couple pays on a per session basis.
Collaborative Law. This is a relatively new process which has become popular in the last decade or so. In a collaborative divorce, each party is represented by an attorney who has extensive training in the collaborative process. The parties and their attorneys work cooperatively to discuss and address the many issues involved in separating and divorcing, without court intervention. Other professionals, such as financial experts or family therapists, are consulted and brought into the collaborative meetings as necessary. The collaborative process emphasizes mutual respect and team problem solving in order to reach a final divorce settlement and parenting plan. A collaborative divorce is much more cost effective than litigation, as all billable time is productive time, rather than time waiting in court as is required in a litigated situation.
Litigation. Both mediation and collaborative divorce require both parties to voluntarily participate in the process. Sometimes, due to more serious, underlying issues, this is just not possible. I offer my clients zealous, respectful representation in litigated family matters when necessary. Even in these cases, the overwhelming majority are eventually settled by the parties prior to trial. By treating opposing counsel and parties respectfully yet firmly, I leave the door open for an eventual negotiated settlement which is in the best interests of my client. Sometimes clients come to me when the litigation process has already been commenced; it is possible to turn step back and convert to a collaborative or mediation model, if all parties are willing to do so.