Divorce and Family Law
In the emotionally charged and stressful time of life when couples or families are embroiled in a breakup, there is often great pressure to handle these family issues in Court. The indignity, publicity, rigidity and insensitivity of Court-based family law processes makes for a generally expensive and unappealing process to many clients.
Our firm takes pride in offering a full spectrum of legal processes to afford the family law and matrimonial client choices as to how their relationships will be reorganized.
When lawyers inherently understand that most parties wish for a process and outcome that will ultimately prove to be sensible – from price to outcome – and with no design to intentionally damage a spouse or the kids, there are many more process options to offer clients than simply taking the case to Court.
Simple uncontested workouts, mediations, or full interdisciplinary Collaborative Divorce processes are options we discuss, evaluate and promote besides litigation at our firm.
We take great pride in being able to offer sound family law advice in the context of multiple resolution methods.
Dan McCabe, as manager of the family law practice at our firm, has substantial experience in all aspects of family law. After the first 20+ years of practicing the traditional court-based resolutions, Mr. McCabe then studied mediation as an alternative dispute resolution process and has offered that choice for many years.
The mediation practice has now transitioned to the art of full collaborative law methods. The collaborative law practice is an evolved form of mediation – more robust – with a full interdisciplinary participation by mental health and financial professionals. This supportive and sensitive method of handling matrimonial/family conflict is a prime focus of our law office today.
During a divorce, decisions must be made while emotions run high. Our divorce attorneys can help facilitate the decision-making process by encouraging a collaborative approach, identifying issues, sheparding information and offering alternative solutions.
The firm often represents clients in matrimonial situations using the collaborative divorce model. In collaborative divorce, both parties and their attorneys sign a participation agreement agreeing to use their honest and best efforts to resolve matters without the use of litigation. The participants and the attorneys meet together to discuss and resolve any and all issues with a focus on meeting the best interests of the parties in view of financial and personal realties.
In many instances of collaborative divorce there will be a team approach utilizing experts to help the parties and their attorneys analyze and determine issues, such as parenting, access and financial issues. During the process, each party is represented by an attorney to advise him or her of the legal implications of decisions and to draft and/or review final written agreements. During four way meetings, the parties and the team professionals, collaborate in reaching a fair and equitable resolution.
Dan McCabe is a founding member and instructing attorney in the Hudson Valley Collaborative Divorce and Dispute Resolution Association, Ltd. and is a member of the IACP (International Academy of Collaborative Professionals).
When collaborative divorce is not an option, the firm’s divorce attorneys are also able to assist with divorce mediation, and, when necessary, divorce litigation.
Mediation is a voluntary alternative process our office offers to divorcing couples to resolve their conflicts while working together with a mediator/ facilitator in a non-adversarial setting.
In a mediation role, we strive to achieve a mutually realistic and fair agreement by guiding individuals to reach a consensus.
During the mediation process, parties agree to provide voluntary financial information and documentation, and they agree to discuss outstanding issues openly and honestly while considering the interests of both sides. When consensus is reached, the mediator will prepare a written memorandum and each party will have the memorandum reviewed by an attorney of his or her choice for conversion to a full separation/settlement agreement.
Mediation is an opportunity for individuals to express their concerns with one another and to make decisions cooperatively that will have long term financial and emotional consequences. Our firm’s divorce attorneys often work as mediators and can help clients review and develop mediated solutions.
If divorce mediation is not successful, our divorce attorneys are available to represent clients interested in collaborative divorce or divorce litigation.
Dan McCabe trained as a mediator early in his career and boldly set up the first “for-profit” mediation center called “Consensus Quest” in this area to begin offering a mediated dispute resolution alternative to those in disputes of any nature.