Frequently Asked Questions

Does your office charge a retainer payment up front in order to take on a case?

No.  Never.  There are no retainer payments.  You pay as you go.  You pay for each piece of the work after it has been done; after you have seen the work or participated in it (e.g., a mediation session, emails, etc.); after you have seen an itemized bill and agree that it is correct,  only then do you pay the bill.  In other words, given that I do not take retainers, I will never be holding any of your money that you do not agree I have already earned.

What do I need to know before calling you?

Nothing.  Well, you need to know my phone number.  It’s posted on each page of this site.

What do I need to know or have before our first mediation session?

If you have minor children,  they will be the first topic we discuss in that session.  Just come with an open heart and open mind about what sort of Plan will work best for your children.  Until we have a Parenting Plan in place, we will not move into the finances, so there is nothing you need to bring to your first session.

If you have no minor children, I will ask you to make a list of what you own, owe and earn.  You don’t need to prepare this list in detail, as that will come after the first session.  You just need a general list of these things along with their  approximate amounts/values to provide an overview from which to start the dialogue. Our first financial discussion will work off that list so that we can discern what each of you thinks and where each of you hopes to end up. DO NOT RESEARCH THIS ON LINE.  I want to know your thoughts on how you view a fair outcome and your wish-list; not some idea you picked up in a chat room or from your friend who was divorced last year.   By learning your thoughts, I gain some insight into where the areas of disagreement are, making it a little easier for me answer the question everyone wants to know when mediation begins:   How long will it take?   See the next topic below.

How long will mediation take?

Many factors influence how long it takes to complete mediation, so it is impossible to say without knowing more about a couple’s situation.  But I can tell you some of the factors that affect the timeline.  

1.  The type of assets and liabilities you have;  

2.  Whether your case will be an alimony case has an impact on the length of the process; 

3.  If you have children, working out a Parenting Plan that is right for YOUR children always adds to the length of the process and compromises the entire first session; occasionally more.  I have seen some Parenting Plans completed in an hour.  Others can take much longer when serious disputes and simmering anger interfere with smooth progress;

4.  How well you are able to check your anger at the door before the work begins inside my office will impact the time mediation takes;

5.  Whether we must wait for asset valuations and appraisals on real estate, antiques, or a business owned by one or the other or both;  

6.  Yur availability for mediation sessions.  

And more.

When all is said and done, there is a meeting conducted for an afternoon for which there is no charge.  Check here for a glimpse into how that afternoon is handled.  It is under: LAST SESSION.

Should we hire our review lawyers before coming to see you - or should we start with you and hire our review counsel later?

It can be done either way.  It does not matter.  Most clients start with me and let me get the dialogue started.  Once mediation is underway, if any conflicts are exposed on particular issues where one or both clients wish to review their positions privately with their own lawyer, that would be an opportune time to have your first meeting with the lawyer you have selected.  If, however, you are more comfortable meeting with your lawyer first, there is no reason not to.  You may even need to if you want to interview some before deciding on one.  Until you are asked to see a review lawyer by your mediator, your comfort level is all that should guide you on this issue. There is no right or wrong answer. And, by the way, a lot of divorces finish without seeing review lawyers at all.  It all depends on the situation.

I have been asked to serve as review counsel on many cases that are being mediated elsewhere.  Depending on the situation and the needs of the client, I have served in the capacity of guiding clients before the actual negotiations begin;  cousneling them before and/or after each mediation session, because they want professional help in preparing or advice on what took place; or just standing by in case my services are needed at any point along the way.  If I serve as review counsel in any of those capacities, I will always review the final agreement and meet with my client to discuss the Separation Agreement with which I have been provided in advance of it being signed, but it is always the client’s decision whether to sign it.

If we come to mediation with our own agreement and just ask you to write it up, will you do that?

Only if I am allowed to review it against the financial disclosures on which it is based, and I determine it to be complete, fair, and legal.  I will not draft an agreement just because two people say this what they have agreed upon and do not want it reviewed.  Then they need a typist - and a judge who isn’t checking what they have done on the day they are to be divorced.

While we are on the subject, I will use this opportunity to blow-up an internet myth I hear often.  A Separation Agreement is not acceptable as the final word on the terms of the divorce if it is unfair, illegal, deficient, or otherwise and inexplicably unbalanced in its treatment of the spouses.  So no:  the Court does not have to accept it just because the two of you agreed upon it.  

Areas in Connecticut Serviced by The Firm

Serving New Haven County, including Woodbridge, Guilford, Madison, Cheshire, Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Branford, Derby, East Haven, Hamden, Meriden, Middlebury, Milford, Naugatuck, North Branford, North Haven, East Haven, Orange, Oxford, Prospect, Seymour, Southbury, Wallingford, Waterbury, West Haven, Wolcott, New Haven and the surrounding communities. Also serving Fairfield County, including Danbury, Easton, Westport, Weston, Fairfield, Bridgeport, Ridgefield, Redding, Newtown, New Fairfield, Sherman, Shelton, Trumbull, Brookfield, and Monroe.

    The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice.
No attorney-client relationship should be inferred from this web site. Visiting this web site does not create or commence an attorney-client relationship.  You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

Located in Woodbridge CT 06525

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