Standing O salutes the panel of Brooklyn judicial bigwigs who led a Jan. 8 discussion about how local lawyers and do-gooders can use matrimonial mediation to facilitate more peaceful divorce proceedings for Kings Countians. The practice helps couples reach agreements about the parameters of their divorce — including terms of custody and financial settlements — which would otherwise be decided for them by a judge in a courtroom, according to the judge who led the hour-long event at the Brooklyn Bar Association.
“It allows people to reach a resolution with the experience of a mediator who’s not going to tell them what to do, but who’s going to facilitate helping them coming to a resolution,” said the Hon. Jeffrey Sunshine, Kings County Supreme Court Justice and the Statewide Coordinating Judge for matrimonial cases.
Sunshine led the event at the Remsen Street space — located between Henry and Clinton streets — with the help of a slate of lawyers, including Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association president Carrie Anne Cavallo, Collaborative Family Law Center director Jean Norton, and Brooklyn Bar Association family law co-chairs Aimee Richter and RoseAnn C. Branda.
The event came just before the presumptive matrimonial mediation pilot program rolled out in Kings County and two other districts across the state, according to Sunshine, who added that the program will ease the process of divorce for couples experiencing it.
“It certainly is a quicker, less emotionally and financially draining process,” Sunshine said. “How wonderful is it that people can resolve their differences on their own, instead of having somebody in black robes decide their lives?”
Standing O congratulates Sunshine and everyone else involved in the program.
— Julianne McShane