over 30 years of experience practicing Divorce Law & Divorce Mediation
Susan Wakefield is a divorce attorney and mediator with over 30 years of experience practicing exclusively in Family/ Divorce Law and Divorce Mediation. In 2009 Attorney Wakefield expanded her practice and founded Connecticut Legal Coaching a unique and specialized legal service designed to support the staggering number of individuals throughout the family courts in Connecticut who are faced with the daunting task of self-representation in their divorce, custody, or post divorce matter. Susan created Legal Coaching, often referred to as Unbundled Legal Services or Limited Scope Representation to assist the growing numbers of self-represented individuals needing support and guidance to navigate the Connecticut Judicial System. Susan practices in the Stamford, Bridgeport and New Haven Courts and provides Legal Coaching services throughout the State of Connecticut.
Divorce is an emotional process as much as a legal process. With a background in divorce litigation, Susan has witnessed what happens when parties are placed in an adversarial position. The legal system does not address the emotional aspect of divorce, so after the divorce individuals find they are still angry and hurt and the difficulties and lack of communication before and during the divorce still exist.
Susan encourages her clients to seek a mediated or non-adversarial process, and believes in bringing parties together so they can create, at their own pace and through their own hard work and compromise, an agreement which benefits the whole family. Susan has insight into the possible outcomes if the matter were to go to court and shares that with her clients. Susan’s approach and style is straightforward and practical, and she is candid with her clients always emphasizing a non-adversarial and cost-efficient process and realistic expectations. Clients leave the process with a sense of relief and an agreement they commit to voluntarily and willingly. An agreement reached either through mediation or negotiated is far more likely to be adhered to and supported by both parties avoiding a lot of the post divorce litigation and problems people are often faced with when they are forced or pressured into an agreement that they did not find fair or one that was imposed upon them by a judge after a trial.
Affordable, Amicable, Compromise, Negotiate, Agreement...
Are these the words you’d like to use to describe your divorce a year from now?
When you are ready to move forward with your divorce you need information and direction to ensure you make the best decisions possible for you and your family right from the start. For over twenty eight years I have practiced exclusively in the area of family and divorce law. Getting divorced is never the end of a family especially when there are children involved. Divorce is and should be the start of a NEW and DIFFERENT family, a new beginning, an opportunity for couples to create healthier and happier relationships, learn new ways to communicate, and share the joys and responsibilities of raising their children. I know from experience that the end result, meaning the agreements you reach and how you feel when your divorce process ends depends on how you approach the divorce process itself both in your attitude and the choices you make along the way. One needs to be informed, prepared, and involved in their outcome. One needs realistic goals and expectations and the willingness to make concessions and negotiate while understanding that no one walks away with everything. Divorce is not about winning and losing but about change for a better, happier life.
Why is there so much post-divorce litigation?
I have handled many post-divorce matters which include individuals having to go back to court to correct, modify or enforce their agreement. Many did not understand the terms of their agreement, were pressured into signing an agreement they knew they could not afford or were not fully advised about their legal rights and responsibilities before signing their agreement. When divorced couples are continually going back and forth to court they are not really divorced and the conflict and hostility continues. The choices you make from the start such as consulting with an experienced divorce lawyer and choosing mediation versus litigation, can greatly impact the outcome of your settlement resulting in an agreement that both parties understand, accept and will follow, thereby avoiding post divorce conflict.
Can I afford to get divorced?
In addition to the safety and security of their children and protecting their finances which are the main concerns of most individuals I first meet, are the concerns surrounding the cost of getting divorced and whether or not they can afford to hire a lawyer to represent them in their divorce process. Unfortunately the cost of divorce is often why people stay in unhappy relationships and remain “on the fence”, unable to move ahead. However there are many options and alternatives to keep your legal costs down and get the legal advice, support and protection you need during your divorce. New laws in the State of Connecticut make getting divorced even easier. The Connecticut Judicial Branch website gives you access to court forms and a wealth of information on the divorce process, and recent changes include eliminating the waiting period and filing your papers in court without ever having to be in the courthouse.With the help of an experienced legal coach, attorney mediator or divorce attorney more individuals are navigating the legal system on their own.
Take ownership of your divorce. Participate. Educate yourself and keep control over your time and your money. Learn about the different ways to get divorced in Connecticut so you can look back and know you did the best you could for yourself and your family.