Why am I a matrimonial, family law lawyer and divorce mediator?

My mission is to help the wronged, unhappy or injured get what is fair and right.  This is the initial draft of my “Why” as I discovered yesterday when doing an exercise at the annual training of the New York Association of Collaborative Professionals.  The “Why” can be tweaked and tested, but this is was what I came up with after working with others to search for it in the exercise.  The exercise to find our Why was as suggested by Simon Sinek’s method through our trainer at the meeting.  My understanding of what the Why is would be that which we can not help but doing because it is our natural inclination.  On reflection, I get to do this as a matrimonial,  family law lawyer and mediator on a daily basis.  As a mediator, it is not my role to advocate for either side of the issue, but rather to facilitate the coming together to resolve their issues.  When I look at the settlements as crafted between the parties from my mediated cases, I find that they are fair balanced agreements.  It is my job as a review attorney to identify for my clients the fairness of the agreements that have been negotiated with a different mediator.

As previously mentioned, I am a big fan of alternative dispute resolution processes such as mediation and collaborative law, but the majority of my cases are and have been in the more traditional route as set up by the court system, which is the adversarial system.  So, a lot of my clients are in battle, and as their lawyer, I fight hard for them.  Since I am an experienced litigator, trained and certified mediator and collaborative law attorney, it allows me to help people with divorce and family law issues no matter what process they choose to use.  It turns out though, that my chosen profession fits the why that I discovered.  Invariably, people with matrimonial and family law issues either feel wronged, unhappy or injured in some way.  It is my job as their lawyer to help them get what is fair and right.

There are many reasons that I recommend mediation or collaborative law over the traditional adversarial route for those that are willing and able to do it.  To name a few of them, the adversarial method tends to foster bad feelings between the parties as the usual modus operandi of everyone involved is to emphasize the good for their side and the bad about the other.  In other words there is mud slinging in litigation.  Just because a relationship has ended, however, does not mean that people need to leave the relationship as enemies.  Two parents are forever connected by their children even if they are no longer romantically involved.

Many can remain friends or couples can part without negative feelings, which tends to be likelier for couples that mediate or collaborate their family law issues and divorces.  There is higher compliance and less revisiting of the issues in these methods than under the adversarial model.  The time to resolution is usually more expeditious under these methods.  Another reason is that a fully litigated case, in most instances, will be a more expensive endeavor than a collaborated case and almost certainly more expensive than a mediated matter.

For those reasons I choose mediation or collaborative law over litigation, since I believe a client’s overall satisfaction with the process will be higher.  For some, on the other hand, the more traditional route is their choice either because they or the other side of the case does not believe mediation or collaboration is right for them.  For me, I am still fulfilling my Why under this method.  I am always vigilant to attempt to obtain the best resolution for my client as quickly as possible, but I am not afraid to fight when a settlement can not be made.   I am working hard to help my client that feels wronged, unhappy or injured to get what is fair and right.  We will ask the court to award my client what is fair and right if settlement discussions are unsuccessful.  I find the foregoing is true whether I am involved in a child support, custody, order or protection, divorce or other family law issue.  I am happy to try to help whatever process is chosen or issue that needs to be tackled.

Click around my website, blog or call for more information about the different processes or your specific family law issues.  It will be my pleasure to see how I can help you get what is fair and right!

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