Connecticut’s Compassionate Divorce Solutions Attorney
ANN COONLEY concentrates her practice in the area of family law, including divorce and custody. Her practice involves litigation as well as mediation and collaborative law. In addition to her extensive courtroom experience in Fairfield County and in New Haven County and in other Connecticut courts arguing cases on behalf of her clients, she accepts appointments by the courts to serve as a Special Master for the judicial districts of Bridgeport, New Haven, Middlesex and for the Regional Family Trial Docket in Middletown and Waterbury. In her capacity as a Special Master, Attorney Coonley assists the court in settling difficult family cases so the parties can avoid a trial.
In addition to representing adult parties in family law cases, throughout her practice Attorney Coonley has also been selected by the court and by other attorneys to represent children in high conflict custody matters. She has lectured other attorneys in continuing education seminars and she taught paralegal courses for several years. Although she is an experienced litigator and trial lawyer, Attorney Coonley continually strives to represent her clients in such a way as to avoid the destruction of the family unit and she also practices alternative dispute resolution techniques. She is trained as a divorce mediator and as a collaborative lawyer. Combining over two decades of experience in family law with specialized mediation training, she assists couples in developing full settlements of their conflicts without the necessity of litigation. Additionally, she has been trained in the concept of Collaborative Divorce and was one of the founding members of Collaborative Family Lawyers of Greater New Haven and the Fairfield County Collaborative Law Group. Attorney Coonley is also available on a fee basis as a private arbiter in family law disputes.
MEDIATION AS A SOLUTION: Attorney Coonley works as a trained mediator with parties in several sessions over time to assist them in putting the agreements reached by those parties in written contract form. As a mediator the attorney assists with the legal procedures required by the court, but she may not give any legal advice to either party.
COLLABORATION AS A SOLUTION: The collaborative process in a divorce is something like a mediation except that each party has his own specially trained attorney for both private consultations and legal advice, as well as for representation at the table for negotiations to settle the divorce. In the collaborative process each party brings all information and financial evidence to the table so as to enable all to work in an open and “transparent” environment of full disclosure.
LITIGATION AS A SOLUTION: If Attorney Coonley has represented you in either the mediation process or the collaborative process, she may not represent you subsequently in court litigation if mediation or collaboration attempts have not worked out. However, if it is clear at the outset of the divorce that collaboration or mediation will not work for you, she will take your case as your litigator and represent you zealously in the court system, in both negotiations and at trial, if necessary. However, throughout the litigation process, she will, with your cooperation, always attempt to resolve any conflict without the necessity of a costly and emotionally painful trial.