I am Erin Colgan, the founder and managing partner of Colgan Family Law, P.C. As a seasoned divorce attorney, I help divorcing men and women to navigate the divorce process, address post-divorce concerns, and offer advice to clients as they begin their new chapters. As a former prosecutor, and certified mediator, I pride myself on helping each divorcing client to choose the type of divorce that is right for their situation, and tailor the approach, strategy, and negotiation to accommodate their needs.
I pride myself on my ability to help clients understand and anticipate the legal process they face, evaluate their options, plan for the impacts on loved ones, and protect their interests as they navigate the Staten Island divorce and child custody processes and rebuild their lives.
Throughout my legal career of nearly 20 years, I have helped hundreds of men and women navigate their divorces through litigation, advocacy, and often encourage alternative resolution, such as mediation and collaborative divorce. I am equally facile with all types of cases, from simple and amicable to highly contentious. I am also adept in handling the financial aspects of a divorce, including the appraisal of assets and businesses, distribution of pensions, or evaluation of custody agreements.
I am also known for helping my clients to formulate the strategy and course of action that best suits their needs. In fact, the firm encourages and develop out of court models, including mediation and out of court negotiations to avoid costly litigation and preserve financial assets. In cases where litigation is unavoidable, we work closely with clients and other professionals to bring swift closure to a difficult process in an informed, efficient, and focused manner.
I understand what my clients are going through. As a divorced parent of two (now young adult) children, I can closely relate to the challenges and rewards that accompany emotional separation and physical transition.
Unlike most other family law firms, Colgan Family Law, P.C. offers pension valuation services to assist divorcing parties directly and other attorneys with drafting orders to divide pension benefits following divorce.
I began my legal career at the Richmond County District Attorney’s Office, located in Staten Island, NY, where I worked as an Assistant District Attorney and prosecuted domestic violence cases. After having two children, I went into private practice as an associate at a local matrimonial law firm.
I am a member of the Richmond County Bar Association and Staten Island Women’s Bar Association and serves as the Matrimonial Committee co-chair of the Richmond County Bar Association. I am active on the 18b panel and serve as an Attorney for the Child in Richmond County. I am also active on the Collaborative Committee for Richmond County for Child Protective matters through the Office of Court Administration for the State of New York. I have lectured for Continuing Legal Education to my colleagues concerning custody and child protective issues.
I earned my B.S. in Economics and Management Science, cum laude, from the State University of New York at Cortland in 1998, and my J.D. from Rutgers-Newark in 2001. I took my first mediation 40 hour training in 2004 at the Center for Divorce Mediation and then took the 40 hour course to be accredited as part of the 146 panel in the ADR program in Richmond County. I am admitted to practice in New York.
Richmond County ADR panel
Let’s face it, divorce is a stigmatized word. It evokes a range of emotions from fear to anger and hurt. Divorce is generally not a positive experience, but one that must happen if a spouse or both spouses wish to end their legal relationship. We can help take some of the sting and uncertainty out of the process by helping divorcing partners and parents by guiding them through this and letting them process their feelings and thoughts in a collaborative way with a goal in mind. That goal is to streamline the divorce process in a way that causes no harm or added conflict, manages expectations, and identifies shared end goals for everyone. Along the way, our firm can offer additional professionals to support you through this as needed. When opting to mediate a divorce, parties have consciously chosen to participate in a collaborative process that will with the assistance of the mediator and up with a full settlement of all the issues that in divorce.
Who is it for? Many folks will benefit from mediation. The no-court, confidential options suited for many people. But, by far, helping parents through a difficult time and making children’s lives more peaceful is what I value most on a personal level. I see the harm that is sometimes caused by overly aggressive and high conflict cases, and I always jump at an opportunity to dial down any conduct that could damage a child.
The indelible mark of divorce is something that a child will carry permanently- and they have no role in deciding that their family unit will be changing. So, to honor the children by thoughtfully pursuing a peaceful divorce is something I will always encourage. Divorcing parents can often find support with the assistance of an experienced mediator.
Erin is a trained litigator with many years of advocating for her clients in the courtroom. She has parlayed the knowledge and skills acquired and transferred them to helping couples fairly and equitably have the discussions necessary to divide and transition to a post-divorce family. She reminds couples of their continued role and obligations as parents to their children and works together with her clients to ensure that the children’s best interest is held as the highest priority in resolving many difficult parenting issues. During mediation we will discuss and attempt to resolve complex parenting schedules, how day to day decisions is made, how time with the children will be shared and when to introduce a new partner. Divorced families present challenges as many families have gone through trauma and difficulties before ever reaching our office. But, with the appropriate resources and sound advice, we can help you transition peacefully and process this divorce in a way to cause your family the least harm.
Erin is a certified mediator and has successfully mediated hundreds of cases since 2004. Erin will schedule an informative initial consultation with a couple via Zoom in order to meet and provide information in order to assess if mediation is a good fit. If everyone agrees, then meetings on Zoom or in person can start immediately and the work can get started. Usually, a mediation lasts between 3-6 sessions, although some can take longer if the issues are more complex. Fees are much less than litigation and will save you tens of thousands in legal fees.
J.D. Rutgers School of Law, Newark 2001