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Your Lawyer
Laura L. Van Tassel, Esq., LLC.

I have specialized in family law since 1998. Over the years, I have seen what divorce litigation can do to people in emotional turmoil. All too often, divorce heightens hostility between partners, forces couples to communicate exclusively through their lawyers, puts ugly feelings on public display and into the public record, and drains financial resources. 

The result? No one gets what they want. A once-loving couple is devastated. Families have been torn apart. Because of my experience, I have become a passionate advocate of alternative divorce methods, including mediation and the collaborative process, leading to more positive familial outcomes than litigation. 

At Van Tassel Law, I believe in a kinder approach to life's legal issues

My goal is to get you to a better place. Being sensitive to the emotional impact of the divorce process
on both you and your family. Respecting that fact, my mission is rooted in three equally important goals:

1. To deliver successful legal results for my clients.

2. To provide kind, attentive, and personalized client service throughout each case.

3. To focus on my clients' well-being. 

Personal attention is the hallmark of my professional career. Each mediation session will be held with me. While I have assistance running my office, be assured, I personally handle every case and respond to all calls and emails.

Van Tassel Law is a boutique 

law practice offering a wide range of other services.

Contact me when you are faced with any problem that requires expert, legal action.
Tel: 201-664-8566
Fax: 201-383-0248

Divorce - it is not an easy time for anyone. 

Take a deep breath. There are alternatives to litigation.

Alternatives to Litigation

What are the advantages of alternative divorce?

Mediation and the collaborative process both share the same advantages over divorce court actions. 


You choose to fix the problems not the blame.



Neither of you wants to take it to court.


Less costly

You want to use your resources to build your new family, not to battle each other.


Private and confidential

Out of court means no ugly, public scenes or records.



You determine the time-table with no artificial deadlines set by the courts.



You decide how to tell the children, restructure your family, provide for their future well-being.



You both make decisions about your lives without bowing to the restricted options available to a judge.


Alternatives to Litigation:

Divorce is not just legal or financial—these are times of huge transition and emotional upheaval in people’s lives. There are matters that spouses must deal with that may lead to a great deal of tension, financial expense, and time wasted. If not handled properly, a divorce may turn into a drawn-out battle over every little detail, but it does not have to be this way. It’s important to work with an empathetic attorney who understands the whole picture.


Working together in an atmosphere of respect and dignity, we will craft a mutually satisfying outcome for both you and your spouse in an informal though structured setting at your pace, with your privacy, insured. If necessary, I will refer you to educational programs, financial planners, accountants, real estate agents, or therapists who will
help you build your future and create your new family dynamic.

I invite you to take a look around my site and explore the easier, less costly alternative ways to divorce.

These are family-friendly processes of negotiation that strive for a win-win resolution.

I encourage you to contact me for a free half-hour consultation to explore which process is the right choice for you.

Your Decision

Your Decision

If you are more interested in resolution than revenge and want to protect your children from being caught in a cross-fire of recrimination; if you and your spouse are committed to working through the many other issues in divorce using open communication and creative problem-solving, consider mediation or the collaborative process.


The main differences between mediation and the collaborative process are the roles of lawyers and the communication flow among the key participants in the divorce.



The husband and wife talk to each other directly, the mediator is neutral. (learn more)


Collaborative Process:

Each spouse has a lawyer who represents his or her interests. Each spouse meets with his or her attorney separately. Then, the couple and their respective attorneys all talk together to resolve differences and draft an agreement. (learn more)


Explore how taking a different route with these alternatives to litigation can bring you peace of mind.

In your free half-hour consultation, I will help you assess your suitability and readiness to divorce using mediation or the collaborative process.



Mediation is a legal process of resolving differences with the guidance of a trained, impartial, neutral third party. During mediation sessions, you and your spouse talk to each other directly about what you each want for yourselves and your children. I can play one of two roles in your mediated divorce:


Your Mediator:

As a mediator, I meet with both of you together. I objectively help you maintain perspective through emotional ups and downs, supporting you both to use disagreement as a way to develop creative solutions to your problems. I take a long-term view to keep you focused on what is important and how your decisions will affect other family members and your own futures.


Your Attorney:

Acting as a legal advisor to one of you, I help you best express your needs and wants in mediation. In this role, I am subjective - on your side alone. I explain the laws that govern each of your proposals and help you explore “win-win” alternatives. I only participate in the actual mediation sessions if invited and am called a “referral attorney”.

In a mediated divorce, you create your own possibilities for the future. Frequently, in the safe, informal atmosphere of mediation, you come to recognize that the well-being of the children is crucial, and ensuring their secure and healthy future is in the best interests of both of you.


Unlike divorce litigation, where the partners hire lawyers to speak for them and court regulations are applied uniformly despite each couple’s unique situation, divorce mediation allows you to discuss issues and solve problems together on your own terms.


Mediation is often a less costly alternative to divorce court because together, you and your spouse determine the pace of the negotiation.

Click here to view the table comparing, mediated, collaborative, and litigated divorce.

Collaborative Process

Collaborative Process:

Collaborative divorce is a voluntary, non-adversarial alternative where each spouse hires their own lawyer. After meeting with their lawyers separately, both partners and their lawyers negotiate a divorce settlement agreement outside of court.


Often, the collaborative divorce becomes a team effort as other professionals who can contribute expertise and education join the negotiating sessions. These collaborators can include accountants, financial planners, child custody specialists, family therapists, life coaches, and real estate advisors. Your specially trained collaborative lawyers have a voice in the collaborative process but, because they pledge to withdraw if the negotiation breaks down or you decide to go to court, their best interest is in creating a mutually beneficial agreement.


Like mediation, the collaborative process is usually a less expensive and always a confidential divorce alternative, conducted in a structured setting on your timetable. All in all, the collaborative process results in a respectful divorce, is considerate of children’s feelings, and is conducive to helping you heal and move forward. Both mediation and the collaborative process can be distinguished from litigated divorce not only by the satisfaction both of you feel at the outcomes but, more importantly, by what happens along the way.

Click here to view the table comparing, mediated, collaborative, and litigated divorce.

Custom Plan
Customize Plan

Customized Plan

Every couple is different. Every divorce is different.

At Van Tassel Law, I treat every case as unique and special. I know what's at stake and I am dedicated to helping my clients preserve what they value most. That is why when neither the collaborative method nor mediation quite fits, I offer a customized plan, that is applicable to your unique situation.

I am equipped to tackle legal matters yet welcome tough emotional conversations always keeping one thing in mind: achieving your goals by catering to your specific needs and reaching an agreement that works best for you and your family. I specialize in compassionate, goal-driven divorces and help you find and choose reliable experts I know are well-qualified and caring like me. This ensures that you not only have an experienced divorce lawyer at your side, but you also have the opportunity to handle anything that comes up in your divorce, your way, in a timely fashion. 

Whatever the case may be, my approach to divorce is predicated on your and your families well being and success. My ultimate goal is ensuring my clients' well-being—both in the confidence gained from having an experienced lawyer in the corner, and the comfort offered from a kind attorney willing to take the time to navigate you through what is often a complicated and emotional process.

Other Issues

Every relationship is unique. However, whether you are structuring a divorce or a pre-nuptial agreement,
forming or dissolving a domestic partnership, or mediating any matrimonial dispute,

there are broad categories of concerns you must address.

Decisions must be made about parenting, equitable distribution of assets, debts, and liabilities; support, and financial futures. While the list below, is far from comprehensive, gives you a rough idea of topics to be considered
as you resolve a matrimonial dispute or form a union. 


Spousal support  
Child support 


Legal custody

Parenting time


Child visitation 

Pet visitation


School breaks




Religious training

Equitable distribution of assets, debts, and liabilities  

Health/Dental/Vision Insurance - adults’ and children  

Real Estate - homes, timeshares  

Retirement funds, pensions, 401(k), annuities  

Business and Professional Assets (division of value)  

Personal Property - bank accounts, stocks, CDs, mutual funds, family memorabilia, electronics, collections  

Credit cards, car leases, bank loans

Other decisions
Income Taxes - exemptions for children, audits of previous returns, division of refunds  
Future Disputes - legal fees

Other Issues

Other Services

Custody agreements

Custody enforcement

Division of assets

Domestic partnerships

Domestic violence

Living will preparation

Parenting time and access

Partition actions

Pet trusts

Post-divorce disputes

Powers of Attorney

Pre-nuptial contracts

Real estate law

Support actions

Will preparation

Other Services

Van Tassel Law offers a wide range of services

Contact me  when you are faced with any problem that requires expert, legal action in the following areas:


COVID-19 PLEASE NOTE: To protect your safety in response to the threats of the Coronavirus, I am offering clients the ability to meet  In-Person, via Telephone, or through Video Conferencing. Please call my office to discuss your preferences. 

VAN TASSEL LAW 645 Westwood Avenue, River Vale, NJ 07675

call: (201) 664-8566  |  fax: (201) 383-0248  |  get directions

For any general inquiries, please fill in the following contact form:

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