On March 6, 2006, Kimberly Denoyer and Keith Ostrowski, two local attorneys, joined together to create Denoyer & Ostrowski PC, a family focused law firm that, in addition to representing business clients, represents clients going through a separation or divorce. After practicing law for nearly 8 years in the areas of business litigation and bankruptcy, Denoyer and Ostrowski added on the practice of family law after going through their own divorces and experiencing the adversarial nature of the litigation process from a client perspective. Both attorneys strongly believe that their representation as family lawyers should focus on preserving relationships after a separation or divorce by providing clients with innovative solutions that meet their clients’ needs, while benefiting the entire family unit.
D&O’s “family-focused approach” offers clients a unique opportunity to resolve family disputes in a manner that provides greater long-term benefits than the traditional combative approach often taken in the area of family law. D&O emphasizes this approach in all aspects of its practice, particularly when children are involved. While litigation may be necessary in some cases, discussing possible alternatives with clients ensures that all options are fully explored before choosing such a course of action.
Consistent with that philosophy, D&O offers its own alternative to litigation. Through its facilitative mediation program, called Advocates for Families, D&O allows couples to resolve family disputes in a non-adversarial environment that fosters communication, cooperation, honesty and respect. This program was developed in response to the rising divorce rates in Michigan and the seemingly increasing adversarial nature of the litigation process. While the two attorneys understand that they may not be able to completely eliminate the adversarial nature of a separation or divorce, the program’s goal is to reduce conflict and help couples effectively communicate. By embracing this approach, couples have the opportunity to negotiate their own resolution as opposed to the Court imposing one upon them. To achieve that end, Advocates for Families has numerous resources to assist the parties in this process, including family friendly lawyers, child specialists, therapists, and financial planners. The process of facilitative mediation is specifically structured so that the parties control when and how these resources are utilized as the ultimate goal is to reach a resolution that is acceptable to them.
The benefits of facilitative mediation are remarkable, some of which include:
• Mediation eliminates the uncertainty of litigating the issues in Court by allowing the parties to control the outcome.
• Mediation helps families preserve their relationships and resolve issues in a more harmonious and private manner.
• Mediation provides the parties with an environment that allows them to create a family plan that is workable, realistic and fair.
• Mediation can be significantly less costly than traditional litigation because the parties resolve their own issues.
• Parties who create their own family plan through mediation are more likely to honor the terms of their agreement and avoid future disputes.
Simply put, whether through litigation or facilitative mediation, separation or divorce does not have to devastate families and it does not have to leave the family in emotional and financial ruin. D&O is committed to offering legal services that are consistent with its goal of preserving family relationships long after the separation or divorce becomes final. D&O believes that its family-focused approach sets it apart from other family law practitioners who espouse the traditional, litigious approach to resolving family disputes. It is D&O’s genuine hope that it can change the “traditional” way family disputes are resolved in the legal field, one family at a time.