Collaborative Law & Mediation
The Law Office offers two different ways to pursue divorce and resolve family disputes that do not involve having a judge make the decisions for the couple.
Collaborative divorce is a non-court based method of obtaining a divorce. As stated by the New York Association of Collaborative Professionals it is “a way of practicing law whereby the lawyers for both of the parties to a family dispute agree to assist the parties in resolving conflict using cooperative strategies rather than adversarial techniques and litigation." (www.collaborativelawny.com/about) It has a very different feel than the traditional litigated divorce. In collaborative divorce, each party hires a collaborative attorney. At the beginning of the collaborative process, each party along with his or her attorney, signs a contract called the participation agreement. In this agreement each side pledges to use only cooperative approaches in the negotiations of the financial and personal matters of the divorce. The negotiations take place in a series of meetings between the parties and their lawyers. The spouses themselves take a direct role in explaining what they believe their needs are. The lawyers advocate for their respective clients but also work together to move the process to a conclusion that is the best result for all members of the family. Often outside professionals are brought into the meetings to assist with various aspects of the divorce such as finances or children’s issues. These professionals, along with the parties’ attorneys, support and guide the divorcing parties during the negotiations. To learn more about collaborative law here in Rochester, visit https://nycollaborativelaw.com.
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution where the two parties choose a neutral professional (the “mediator”) to help them work through all of the terms of their divorce or family problem. Successful mediation assumes cooperation by both sides, a willingness to compromise, mutual respect, and the commitment to be non-confrontational. The mediator is considered “neutral” and cannot take sides with either party. As a trained mediator, Ms. Castellano sees her role as guiding both individuals to mutually agreed upon solutions. When there are children involved, she especially helps parents foster decisions that keep the children’s best interests in mind.
When someone is interested in mediation services, the Law Office offers both parties the opportunity to come in for a short consult to learn more about mediation and whether or not it would be a good fit for them. Due to the brevity of the consult, and the neutral role of a mediator in not rendering legal advice, mediation consults are complementary.