The Process


The Collaborative Process provides divorcing couples a non-adversarial means to resolve their legal, financial and emotional issues. Each party has their own collaborative trained attorney and all commit to resolution of issue without the threat of litigation. Collaborative attorneys facilitate understanding between the parties and assist them in creatively and cooperatively working toward a fair and confidential agreement. Depending on the needs of the family, the parties may benefit from the inclusion of mental health professionals to assist in communication or child sensitive issues and/or financial specialists. Collaborative professionals and parties work together as a problem solving team. This allows parties to control the outcome of their matter and protect their future and that of their children.

The Collaborative Process will generally cost less than litigation. The time spent with collaborative professionals is focused on the family’s issues and not waiting to be called before a Court.


Mediation  is a voluntary process in which a neutral person facilitates communication between the parties to assist them in reaching a mutually acceptable agreement. The mediator does not represent either party. Successful mediation requires that each party moves forward with a willingness to compromise.  Mediation is private and the parties are in control of the outcome. Many people consult attorneys either during the Mediation or for purposes of reviewing mediated terms before agreements are finalized.


Litigation is an adversarial process over which parties often have little if any control. Schedules and resolutions are dictated by the Court. While settlement should remain the goal of the parties and the Court, when unresolved issues remain, they will be determined by a Court.  Litigation often leads to significant animosity and a continued breakdown of the parties’ relationship. This can undermine settlement opportunities and negatively impact parties and their children post divorce. Litigation should be considered as a “last resort”.  It is expensive, inconvenient and destructive under the best of circumstances. In litigated matters, Ellen’s experience permits her to be appropriately aggressive and responsive to her clients goals from beginning to end.

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'The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. I invite you to contact me and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting me does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information until an attorney-client relationship has been established.

Ellen Werfel Martineau, Esq. is licensed in New York.

Ellen Werfel Martineau
Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP
445 Hamilton Ave, Suite 1500
White Plains, New York 10601

P (914) 308-3435

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