Helen About photoI am a Retired New York State Judge, Certified Divorce Mediator and a former Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office who had the distinction of serving under the Honorable Robert M. Morgenthau. I have spent virtually my entire career in the public sector, and understand the people and challenges of those who choose New York as the place to live, work, and raise their families.  I am familiar with all of the issues involved in divorce and the fairest, most efficient ways of resolving them.

During my many years on the bench, I observed the havoc and tragedy visited upon parents and children involved in divorce. All too often the most important decisions facing parents concerning their children’s lives were removed from the parents, and instead usurped by attorneys, lawyers for the children, and ultimately by the court. The frustration that I endured as a judge in attempting to negotiate settlements in the parties best interests was insignificant compared with the pain and suffering of the litigants during proceedings which frequently took years to resolve and exacted a considerable emotional, as well as financial burden.

Upon retiring from the bench, I began to explore alternatives to traditional divorce, which culminated in obtaining a certification in Divorce Mediation, a faster, far less expensive, and most importantly, far less acrimonious way of obtaining a divorce in New York State. I am proud to be part of a process that helps clients exercise their power when it comes to important decisions about their lives and families. I am always delighted when divorcing parties can be assisted in making their own legally binding decisions concerning their children and their assets, in out of court proceedings that usually take months, as opposed to years to resolve, and at a fraction of the cost of a traditional divorce.

I believe that absent extraordinary circumstances, most parties can resolve the issues involved in a divorce with the assistance of a skilled mediator. However, for those families who chose not to participate in mediation, I also represent clients in uncontested divorces, another way of obtaining a divorce where both parties are represented by attorneys of their own choosing who work together to negotiate an out of court settlement of all matters relating to the parties divorce.

A good mediator is one who can work with and encourage the parties to listen to and respect one another’s positions, even if they don’t agree with it, present and provide a sound explanation of the legal issues involved in divorce, and offer fair and reasonable methods of resolving issues that will inure to the benefit of both parties, and where children are involved, assure that the children’s best interests are reflected in the Divorce Stipulation. The same skills and abilities are important in an uncontested divorce, even though each party will be represented by their own attorney.

I have lived and worked in New York City and its environs for virtually my entire life, graduated from Brooklyn Law School, Cum Laude, and from Hofstra University, with Honors.

To learn more about mediation, uncontested divorce, parent coordination or your legal needs, please contact me at: hcs1212@gmail.com  or  917.225.1811.