When you’re facing a separation or divorce, or dealing with a family or business conflict, you want help from someone you can trust and someone who will listen.
I’ve been there! I’m a small business owner who has been through a mediated divorce while my son was just a toddler. I know what it’s like to feel frightened and overwhelmed during one of life’s most painful and costly transitions. At times like these, you don’t just need a competent lawyer in your corner, you need a compassionate listener who can give you the space to express yourself openly and without judgment.
As a skilled lawyer with over 30 years of experience working with families, children and businesses, I firmly believe that mediation is the better way to resolve most conflicts. More and more, separating and divorcing couples, even those of high net worth, are turning to mediation because it is less adversarial, private, and less expensive than a traditional, litigated divorce. Studies show that mediation is less traumatic for children of divorce because it helps to minimize the conflict between the parents. More importantly, during mediation you remain in control of the pace of the process as you work with your mediator to make the important decisions about you, your family, and your future.
My goal is to help you navigate this important life transition by supporting you, by providing you with a legal and financial framework, and by helping you to negotiate in your own voice so you can arrive at a settlement that is equitable.
Early on in my legal career, I gravitated toward working with kids and families in conflict. I founded a legal aid service in Chicago called First Defense Legal Aid which, among other things, offered peer mediation services to teens and won recognition from the U.S. Department of Juvenile Justice. After moving to New York City in 1997, I was asked to create the New School University’s first Ombuds Office to mediate disputes among students, staff and faculty, and led two large non-profit agencies in Manhattan where I developed award-winning programs serving youth, single parents, and families.
Petra Maxwell is the go-to attorney/mediator who I consult regarding all family law issues. She is highly competent, personable and sensitive to nuance. She values the impact of the psychotherapeutic relationship in preventing and reducing trauma during family upheavals requiring legal intervention. Petra is an effective and successful mediator who can tolerate a lot of affect and collaborates where appropriate.
– LouAnn Smith, LCSW, New York, NY
Petra made the process of separating very easy for us in terms of understanding it all as a whole: financially, emotionally and spiritually. She was always available and has such a caring and compassionate way of dealing with this very difficult issue. She brought so much more than mediation, she made suggestions and gave us sound advice while we went through this process. I am so grateful to have found her as she helped us through this very difficult transition. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
– B.A., New York City
Whether your conflict involves family, work, or a partner, today I think there’s no quicker and more cost effective way to resolve your issues than mediation. And Petra Maxwell, in my opinion, is among the best because you can trust her. Petra, a Harvard Law grad, cuts to the chase with clear, concise legal advice that not only saved me time and money, but helped expedite my divorce in a way that benefitted both me and my family.