Our firm is one of the largest matrimonial law firms in New York City that offers all three ways to divorce. Let us help you choose the best option for you and your family.Schedule a consultation
Experienced Representation and Mediation in Westchester and Surrounding Counties
Divorce is a difficult and emotional process even under the best of circumstances. You deserve the support and expertise of a caring legal team. The professionals at Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP will guide you through each step with a focus on your goals and your family’s needs. Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP, one of New York City’s premier boutique matrimonial and family law firms, is now firmly situated to represent you in Westchester and surrounding counties.
Our firm is proud of the work it does on behalf of clients throughout the state. Contact our firm to schedule a consultation in our office in White Plains.
What Sets Our Firm Apart
Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP is an award-winning matrimonial and family law firm. Our attorneys have earned the respect of their peers and the judiciary. Every divorce does not have to be an overwhelming arduous battle. We take pride in our ability to focus on our clients’ goals and resolve matters through negotiation and settlement, rather than trial whenever possible, or through the Collaborative Process or Mediation. Our Firm is one of few in New York offering highly experienced professionals trained to litigate, negotiate, collaborate, and mediate divorce and all other family law matters.
We are available to represent you throughout Westchester and surrounding counties. Our Westchester office is located in White Plains at 445 Hamilton Avenue, 15th Floor, convenient to all Westchester locations including White Plains, Bronxville, Eastchester, Harrison, Scarsdale, Larchmont, Hastings, Irvington, Rye, Mount Kisco and Yorktown.
Westchester Divorce Lawyers Offering Custom-Tailored Strategies
Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP provides its clients with three alternative ways to pursue divorce and other family law matters: Litigation, Collaborative law, and Meditation.
- Our litigation-focused lawyers have years of experience practicing in the courts of Westchester County, Rockland County, Putnam County, Orange County and Dutchess County. In addition to knowledge of the law, they have developed a deep understanding of the particular process in each court and a familiarity with court staff and personnel thus reducing the stress that normally permeates contentious divorce and custody proceedings. While most cases resolve through settlement, our team is trained and ready to bring your matter to trial.
- Our Collaborative practice focuses on cooperation and representation in the divorce process without resorting to the courts.
- Our experienced and trained attorney-mediators provide the opportunity for clients to find fair and realistic solutions to the economic and practical issues facing their families as well as help heal the psychological rift between divorcing spouses.
We are one of the few New York matrimonial law firms offering all three options, allowing you to find the best path forward for yourself and family. We understand that the decisions you make can have long-term ramifications, often in unexpected ways. Our family law attorneys know how important it is to consider all possibilities and outcomes so you can move on with your life.
Additional Areas of Focus for Our Westchester Family Law Attorneys
Our team of attorneys aims to minimize risk while promoting your best interests. Whether your issues and concerns include the welfare of your children, the future of your business, or the assets you built over a lifetime, we are here to protect and represent you in the most effective and efficient way possible. Please contact us with your questions concerning:
- Divorce Negotiation
- Child Custody
- Child Support
- Spousal Maintenance/Alimony
- Property Division/Equitable Distribution
- Prenuptial Agreements
- Postnuptial Agreements
- Modification and Enforcement of Orders
- Parenting Plans
- Post-Judgment Disputes
What’s the Difference between Contested Divorce vs. Uncontested Divorce in Westchester?
When spouses/parents agree they want to get divorced and can agree on how they want to divide their assets and property, how they want to make decisions and share time with and support their children, and how they may need to provide support from one to the other, they can proceed with an uncontested divorce. If they cannot agree on any one of those issues, even if they both want to be divorced, their divorce is contested. All issues concerning children, support and property division must be resolved in order to obtain a divorce in New York.
Even when proceeding in an uncontested divorce, it is very important to know your rights and obligations under the law before entering into any binding legal agreement. The lawyers at Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP are here to assist and counsel you through entry of a judgment of divorce in your case.
I Filed for Divorce in Westchester. What Happens Next?
Divorce cases in Westchester County are commenced in the Supreme Court of the State of New York upon the filing of a Summons or Summons and Verified Complaint with the Westchester County Clerk. Despite the name, Family Court does not handle divorce cases – only custody, support, and order of protection matters that do not involve a divorce or that are filed after a Judgment of Divorce has been granted. Once filed, divorce papers must be personally served on your spouse within 120 days of the filing date. The served spouse has 20 days to respond (30 days if they were served papers outside of New York State). From there, you begin the process of resolving issues concerning children, support, and property division. If these issues are negotiated to a conclusion you will likely never have to appear in court. If issues remain unresolved, court intervention can be sought, and your disputes resolved by a judge.
Note that Westchester County has particular rules and procedures surrounding divorce, called Matrimonial Part Operational Rules. The attorneys at Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP are well versed in these rules and the practical effect they have on Westchester cases.
Typical Westchester divorce proceedings
During the preliminary phase of a contested divorce case, you, your spouse, and your attorney’s will likely meet with a Court Attorney Referee (CAR). A CAR will handle most court conferences in your case. CARs do not conduct any hearings or trials, and they cannot issue orders. However, they can make recommendations to the judge, who will take them into consideration when issuing an order.
At your preliminary conference, the CAR typically works to:
- Resolve the grounds of your divorce
- Determine the details and complexity of your case
- Establish what issues must be resolved
- Set expected schedule and deadlines for the case
A CAR can request that the judge assign an attorney for the child or children and/ or assign a forensic mental health expert if child custody issues remain unresolved. The CAR can also address whether experts should be assigned to value marital property including real estate or business interests.
While your case is pending, you will generally appear monthly with your attorney before the CAR who will monitor compliance with disclosure and efforts being made to settle your case and avoid trial. You can request a conference with the CAR or with a judge at any time should an unresolved issue require immediate attention such as a need for support or counsel fees while the case is pending or being prepared for trial. If the issue remains unresolved after the conference, you can request permission to file a formal motion. Westchester County has specific rules for filing motions.
Once the CAR determines that your case is ready for trial a pre-trial conference before a judge will be scheduled. At the pre-trial conference, the court will generally try to facilitate a settlement or at least a narrow the issues to be tried. At the conclusion of the conference, a trial date will be set. Note that your case can be settled at any time up to the end of trial.
Westchester Mediation Services
We mediate a range of family issues, including divorce, separation, parenting, asset division, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. Mediation is a voluntary process where people work together with a trained mediator to negotiate and resolve their differences in a non-adversarial forum. The mediator facilitates communication, helps you to evaluate your options, and helps you to reach a mutually agreeable resolution. To learn more about mediation please read the benefits of Mediation. Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP features several award-winning divorce mediators.
Experienced Westchester Professionals
The divorce and family law attorneys at Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein know and understand rules and procedures specific to Westchester County. Partner and attorney Abby Rosmarin is a long-time Westchester family law practitioner and a therapist who specializes in conflict resolution. She is also a member of both the Westchester County Bar Association (ADR Committee) and the Westchester Women’s Bar Association (co-chair of the Mediation Committee). Partner and attorney Ellen Werfel Martineau is a seasoned litigator and appellate attorney with a solid reputation for integrity, intellect and responsiveness, and member of the Westchester Women's Bar Association, and the Family Law Section of the Westchester County Bar. She is also formally trained in mediation and collaborative law.
CREATIVE SOLUTIONS TO DIFFICULT & COMPLEX PROBLEMS
All families and marriages are unique - our attorneys take the time to listen to our clients to fully understand the circumstances of their case. Only then do we advise the best legal option for their goals.
PROMPT RESPONSES TO INDIVIDUAL NEEDS AND INQUIRES
Divorce is a time of transition. We understand the emotional and financial stress that clients experience during the divorce process – from day one our team ensures that we provide our clients with prompt feedback so that they are updated on their case every step of the way.
CHOICES AND OPTIONS TAILORED TO EACH CASE
We are one of the only Manhattan divorce law firms offering all three options for divorce: litigation/negotiation, collaborative law, and mediation - providing custom strategies and solutions for our clients.
INDUSTRY THOUGHT LEADERS DEDICATED TO YOUR SUCCESS
Our attorneys provide frequent expert legal commentary for national media outlets and have been quoted in numerous publications including Fox's Business, NBC News, ABC News, CBS News and many more.
As a dedicated New York family law practice, we establish close working relationships with our clients, resulting in strong and effective representation characterized by humanity, caring, and understanding. Learn more about Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP, by reading our attorney biographies or perusing our blogs. Schedule a consultation today by calling us at 212-466-6015 or contacting us online.