An Experienced Mediation And Collaborative Divorce Professional
I am a leading advocate among New York matrimonial and family lawyers in the Mediation and Collaborative Divorce processes and have provided training for lawyers and other professionals throughout New York State, the Northeast and across Canada. It has been my incredible privilege to learn from and train with Stu Webb, the Father of Collaborative Law. To see more about my background, qualifications and honors, please follow this link:
I know how hard it can be to keep your balance and stay calm enough to make good, long-lasting decisions during a time of emotional turmoil and change. I am passionate about helping families find resolution without destruction of themselves or their loved ones. Divorce is a difficult transition on so many levels: emotional, practical and financial. Getting truly good advice early in the process can help keep you grounded and prevent mistakes that could hurt you in the long run.
When someone first calls me, I hear fear, anxiety and uncertainty in their voice and I ask if it feels like they are “stepping off a cliff”? Then I hear a gasp of relief because they know I understand what they are feeling. I can say confidently that while it feels now like stepping off a cliff, it is not. It is a big step, certainly, but there is solid ground ahead.
For most couples, putting your fate in the hands of litigators and judges is not necessary. I believe that you should be given an opportunity to choose a process for resolving differences that give you greater power, honors your participation and trusts your ability to make the best decisions for yourselves and your family.
After representing clients through the divorce process for over 40 years and knowing just how stressful and agonizing dissolving a marriage can be, I have devoted my career to the out of court processes of Mediation and Collaborative Family Law.
I grew up in Arizona and moved to Pennsylvania after law school, practicing general civil law for 6 years. Family law cases and divorce matters were referred to me so that when I moved to Rochester New York, my first work was at Monroe County Legal Assistance, advocating for pregnant and parenting teens and providing child support services. Then I was recruited as a family law and matrimonial lawyer at Davidson Fink, building my practice and reputation representing clients in Family and Supreme Court. Judges often appointed me to act as Attorney for the Child in custody cases.
The more experienced I became, the more complex and litigious cases were referred to me. By 2001, I had watched so many former spouses come to court over and over again to fight about custody and child support. I knew that their children were reliving the contentiousness of their parents’ divorces as the battle kept getting reignited. There had to be better way for most families.
The discovery of Collaborative Law in the spring of 2001 and participating in a training led by Stu Webb changed my life. Stu, a Minneapolis lawyer, had been ready to give up the practice of family law because of the destruction to families and to his spirit. He had a wonderful idea of combining mediation skills with the problem-solving, knowledge-based advocacy of lawyers, one for each client. And just as in Mediation (where the Mediator gives the clients a private safe space for resolving conflict and will never testify or go to court), the Collaborative Lawyers and clients make that same safe and confidential space commitment.
I no longer wanted to represent clients in a court-based environment and my partners understood. In 2004, I opened my own firm and have practiced Mediation and Collaborative Law/Collaborative Divorce exclusively ever since.
My Experience and Commitment Can Help You
Mediation and Collaborative Divorce offer you a safe and dignified environment to reduce conflict and minimize negative impacts on you, your children and your family. Everyone agrees, in writing, not to go to court to resolve the issues. As a trained and experienced Mediator and Collaborative Lawyer, I have the knowledge and unique skillset necessary for encouraging constructive conversations and providing a safe container for non-adversarial negotiations.
I have been recognized by Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers In America for my ability to support clients to positive resolutions. I am AV rated Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell and have been recommended in the Rochester Business Journal as a Family Law Mediator and Collaborative Family Lawyer. I am a founding member of the Collaborative Law Association of the Rochester Area, Inc. and served as its first President.
I trust and believe in the Mediation and Collaborative Divorce processes because I’ve seen them be successful and transform lives. If you have questions about your next steps or you want to learn more about my legal services, please call CALL or contact me online.