Litigated, high-end divorce cases are conflictual, lengthy, and costly. Carlton R. Marcyan is no stranger to these, having very successfully tried many cases over his 30+ years. Marcyan cautions that court is not the only pathway and directs clients to alternative methods like collaborative law and mediation.

“During my early years at Schiller DuCanto & Fleck going to court was the only game in town. Our then leadership— Don Schiller, Joe DuCanto, and Charlie Fleck—giants in divorce, gave the go-ahead to mediation.” Marcyan supplemented the practice by introducing collaborative law. It is conducted by trained lawyers who understand the value of staying out of court.

“Many families today want a better way to do it, rather than going to court and knocking each over the head,” he says. “There’s a more thoughtful process where you try to maintain mutual respect. With these alternative dispute resolution methods, you can minimize the emotional and financial costs of contested litigation. This helps clients to move forward in a healthier way after divorce.”

He recalls a case completed a little over a year ago involving a husband in the financial services industry who managed funds for wealthy clients. “With many complicated issues—custody, valuation, fund tracing, and proper support—both came to the realization that court would be very costly and wanted collaborative lawyers who were creative and could implement an approach providing an intelligent and dignified resolution. Both parties remain cordial to this day and enjoy a good relationship.”

Families have changed over the years, and Marcyan and his firm colleagues have been innovators advancing family law to meet the needs of today’s clients. Mediation and collaborative law are now much-desired by clients seeking to keep their divorces out of court.

“Litigation many times antagonizes,” he says. “What little relationship the parties have further deteriorates, which is terrible. Divorce ends the marriage, but if you have children, you’re going to be dealing with each other for a long time. Mediation and collaborative law can help prevent the relationship from becoming toxic so that the spouses can develop effective problem-solving skills for the future.”

Marcyan says mediation and collaborative law are great ways to conserve resources and time and also reduce the emotional toll, particularly when children are involved. “These methods also give us the flexibility to customize the approach to the nature of the case and the personality of the client.”

Offering the families of today different choices for resolving their issues is a welcome change. No wonder that Marcyan has been named a “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers® for Collaborative – Family Law in 2011, 2014, and 2018.