Collaborative Law And Mediation
Collaboration and mediation are legal options that have proven to be some of the most satisfactory process for many people seeking fairness for each family member when dissolving a marriage.

Persons experiencing divorce, separation, and other family law issues must decide what divorce process they will use before they can begin the hard work of planning for their family’s future, which is especially important where children are involved.

Steve, Ryan, Rosemary and Jon together bring nearly 100 years of experience to Bousquet Holstein in the handling of difficult and often complex issues involved in divorce and family court cases.

Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative Divorce offers the coordinated services of legal, mental health, and financial professionals working together as a team to help couples going through a divorce. This is the only method of divorce that incorporates the services and benefits of three professionals who have undergone extensive training in collaborative methods and procedures to help guide you through the divorce process. We have developed insights into all aspects of the divorce process and how three independent professions can work together for you.

Collaborative divorce is unique because the process works entirely outside of the court system. This is the main advantage of Collaborative Divorce in that the parties direct their own resolution. Everything conducted in the meetings is private and in a non-confrontational setting where your team of professionals will only suggest options, solutions, and compromises to assist. The parties decide the terms of the divorce – not a judge.

Bousquet Holstein’s team of skilled lawyers are experienced in this method of divorce and separation. Steve Paquette has served as President of the Central New York Collaborative Law Group, and Rosemary Lepiane currently serves on the board of the CNY Collaborative Law Group. Ryan Suser, a member of the litigation group, has been practicing law for ten years and brings an energetic and creative perspective to the process. Jon Orkin has been engaged in the practice of Collaborative Law for over 15 years and is a member of Ithaca Area Collaborative Professionals.

When you meet with one of our experienced attorneys, they will go over what the collaborative law process is and what you can expect during the process. That attorney, along with his or her support staff, will be your point person at Bousquet Holstein.

Our team has spent years honing skills in and out of the courtroom which can be utilized by you in your Collaborative case. This depth of experience affords our clients not only a thorough knowledge of the law, but also an equal amount of understanding and compassion for those going through this process of divorce.

In fact, one of the greatest benefits of hiring Bousquet Holstein for your collaborative divorce is that you gain access to the immense knowledge of a team of attorneys but with individualized attention committed to your successful collaborative resolution.


In mediation, one negotiates the agreement without the direct assistance or advocacy of an attorney and allows the parties to forge their own agreement, with a minimum of outside influence or pressure to achieve an agreement that is fair for the family.

In mediation, the mediator, no matter what their level of knowledge or education may be with respect to divorce, provides information and structure to assist the couple in resolving all issues in a way that is not just legally sufficient, but also best for the family. Once the mediator has guided the couple through a draft agreement, that agreement is typically reviewed by attorneys who serve as counselors in evaluating and advising each person on the adequacy of the drafted legal document.

A skilled mediator will be an expert in the law and will be able to assist the parties in creative problem solving. He or she will bring to the mediation unique problem-solving abilities, coupled with a sense of compassion and caring, and understands both the legal complexities and emotional challenges often seen when couples divide. A mediator who is weak in either area will be ill-prepared to assist in mediation.

It is important to understand that our trained attorneys do not represent either party in a mediation. They are a neutral to both you and your spouse and as such will not provide direct legal advice to either party within a mediation.

Mediation may not be for everyone, but we invite you to contact our team for a free and confidential consultation to determine if it is the right process for you.

Alternatively, Negotiation and Litigation are more traditional methods of resolving divorce and separation than mediation or collaborative law.

Any method of divorce will require the parties to resolve all issues relating to child custody and parenting plan; child support, maintenance (alimony); and the equitable distribution of marital assets and debts. Such matters often include the need to resolve questions involving real estate law, tax law, estate law, pension and retirement law, and occasionally issues involving bankruptcy, criminal law, and other matters. Our team is uniquely qualified to assist you with any issue that may arise during your divorcing process.

Each of our attorneys is well known for successfully navigating and negotiating settlements and preparing thoroughly for matters that must proceed to trial to achieve a fair result for our clients.  Our team has handled hundreds of such matters in courts throughout Central New York.