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10 Best Divorce Lawyers in Buffalo, NY

Nov. 19, 2019, 10:57 p.m.

Divorces are complicated, messy situations that take an emotional toll on everyone involved. Choosing a competent, reputable divorce attorney can alleviate this stress, help you navigate tricky legal terms and protect your rights in court. Our partners at ConsumerAffairs researched the best divorce lawyers in Buffalo to help find an attorney that will fight for your best interests.

Everyone deserves to make thoughtful, informed purchase decisions. The local guides provided on this website are free for consumers. WKBW may receive compensation from our partners. Learn more.

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#1
RECOMMENDED
The Rossi Law Firm

24/7 Availability

#1 MOST POPULAR
The Rossi Law Firm
The Rossi Law Firm
Features
  • 24/7 availability with flexible appointment hours
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers & Legal Elite of Western New York
  • Handling divorce & custody matters since 1982
Read More
Location
68 Niagara St.
Buffalo, NY 14202
(716) 854-5555
#2
Anthony J. Cervi, Attorney at Law
Anthony J. Cervi, Attorney at Law
Features
  • Free initial consultation
  • $250 hourly rate
  • Experienced civil and criminal litigator
  • Same-sex divorce representation
Read More
Location
43 Court St., Ste. 822
Buffalo, NY 48209
(716) 262-8485
#3
Tully Rinckey PLLC
Tully Rinckey PLLC
Features
  • Aggressive counsel & representation
  • Military divorce representation
  • Fights for a fair distribution of assets & wealth
  • Prepares post-nuptial & separation agreements
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Location
5488 Sheridan Dr., Ste. 500
Buffalo, NY 14221
(734) 927-9782
Law Office of Cheryl A. Aloi
Law Office of Cheryl A. Aloi
Features
  • M-F: 9am - 5pm
  • Closed Sat and Sun
  • aloilaw.com
Location
70 Niagara St., Ste. 411
Buffalo, NY 14202
(716) 886-1549
Maureen A McCready, Attorney at Law
Maureen A McCready, Attorney at Law
Features
  • M-F: 9am - 5pm
  • Closed Sat and Sun
  • mtlawfirm.com
Location
6 N. Pearl St.
Buffalo, NY 14202
(716) 882-2300
Hawthorne & Vesper
Hawthorne & Vesper
Features
  • M-F: 9am - 5pm
  • Closed Sat and Sun
  • hawthornevesper.com
Location
43 Court St., Ste. 1121
Buffalo, NY 14202
(716) 261-9835
Bennett Schechter Arcuri & Will - Kristin L. Arcur
Bennett Schechter Arcuri & Will - Kristin L. Arcur
Features
  • M-F: 9am - 5pm
  • Closed Sat and Sun
  • bsawlaw.com
Location
701 Seneca St., Ste. 609
Buffalo, NY 14210
(716) 242-8100
Siegel Gullo, Attorneys
Siegel Gullo, Attorneys
Features
  • M-F: 9am - 5pm
  • Closed Sat and Sun
  • siegel-lawoffice.com
Location
88 W. Utica St.
Buffalo, NY 14209
(716) 883-4800
Venzon Law Firm
Venzon Law Firm
Features
  • M-F: 9am - 5pm
  • Closed Sat and Sun
  • venzonlawfirm.com
Location
300 Delaware Ave.
Buffalo, NY 14202
(716) 262-8282
Divorce Mediation Services of Buffalo
Divorce Mediation Services of Buffalo
Features
  • M-F: 9am - 5pm
  • Sat: 11am - 4pm
  • Sun: 1pm - 4pm
  • divorcemediationofbuffalo.com
Location
300 International Dr., Ste. 100
Williamsville, NY 14221
(716) 400-7286

Getting a divorce in Buffalo

Buffalo New York

There are 2.7 divorces per 1,000 residents in New York each year, which is slightly lower than the national rate. Nevertheless, there are plenty of highly recommended attorneys to choose from in the Buffalo area.

Choosing legal representation can be difficult, particularly for divorce. Consider everything from affordability to your compatibility with the lawyer’s personality or litigation style. Depending on the unique nature of your divorce, you’ll need a lawyer who specializes in the services you need.

No-fault divorce vs. at-fault divorce in Buffalo

New York is a no-fault divorce state, which means a person can file for divorce by stating a marriage has been irretrievably broken for at least six months. Even under a no-fault divorce, the court won’t grant a divorce until the couple agrees or a court rules on all issues involving child support and custody, property division and alimony.

New York also allows for at-fault divorces, which a person might use to gain an advantage during settlement proceedings or trial. The recognized grounds for an at-fault divorce in Buffalo include:

  • Abandonment for one year or more
  • Cruel and inhuman treatment
  • Adultery
  • Imprisonment for three or more years after marriage

Types of divorce proceedings in Buffalo

Whether you’re filing for a no-fault or at-fault divorce, it’s necessary to decide the settlement terms. The method you expect to use influences your choice of divorce lawyer — many attorneys specialize in different methods of finalizing a divorce. Common divorce settlement methods include:

  • Uncontested divorce: In an uncontested divorce, the divorcing parties agree on all issues. This is the cheapest and quickest way to settle a divorce.
  • Mediation: During mediation, a neutral third party works with the couple to reach an agreement on divorce terms. A mediator does not make decisions but facilitates communication and proposes compromises on disputed issues.
  • Collaborative divorce: In a collaborative divorce, each of the divorcing parties hires an attorney trained in collaborative law and signs an agreement to settle the divorce in good faith without going to court. If one party decides to terminate the collaborative divorce and take the case before a judge, the attorneys on both sides must resign from the case.
  • Litigated divorce: If the couple cannot reach an agreement on disputed terms, the case goes before a family law judge who listens to the merits on each side and makes a final ruling on issues such as property division, child custody and spousal support. This is the most expensive and acrimonious way to finalize a divorce.

How much does a divorce lawyer cost in Buffalo?

Divorce attorneys in Buffalo charge an average hourly rate of $325, though that amount varies based on the lawyer’s experience and may exceed $600 per hour. The total cost of your divorce depends on many factors, including how contentious it is and whether you go to court. The average cost is around $17,500, with more than $13,000 of that figure coming from attorneys’ fees.

More complex divorces tend to cost more. Factors that increase the cost of your divorce include:

  • Child custody issues
  • Owning multiple properties
  • Dividing high-value assets
  • Filing for an at-fault divorce

Most attorneys ask for a retainer, which is a lump sum amount from which they draw fees during the divorce. The amount of the retainer may be based on how complex the lawyer expects the divorce to be. Some divorce attorneys may charge a flat fee for specific services, such as reviewing documents in an uncontested divorce.

You may choose to represent yourself in the New York courts. Keep in mind that this requires you to complete hundreds of tasks, from filing motions to negotiating, interpreting the law and gathering witnesses or evidence.

How to choose a divorce lawyer in Buffalo

Depending on the issues in your divorce, you might choose a lawyer with special training to handle your case. If child custody or support issues are involved, you need to work with a family law attorney who has experience with those issues. If you’re hoping to stay out of court, choose a lawyer with mediation skills. Find a lawyer who has experience working with cases like yours.

Most divorce attorneys offer a free consultation. Schedule a few of these to determine which attorney would be the best choice for you. Some questions you should consider asking during your consultation include:

  • How much experience do you have with divorce cases in Buffalo?
  • How will we communicate during my case?
  • What strategy would you take for my case?
  • Are there any other costs or fees I should expect (such as court filing fees)?
  • What is your fee structure?

You can also ask specific questions about your case, such as how much you should communicate with your ex-partner or how marital assets might be divided. Many of these questions are answered after you’ve chosen your attorney and they are more familiar with your case, however.

Be sure to use your consultation time to see if you and the attorney are personally compatible. Divorce cases involve discussing personal matters, and it’s essential you’re comfortable with your divorce lawyer. Choosing an attorney with a communication style and outlook that matches yours makes the divorce process easier and increases the likelihood of achieving a positive outcome.

The Rossi Law Firm

The Rossi Law Firm

The Rossi Law Firm specializes in complex divorces, including high-asset cases and custody matters. The firm’s attorneys have experience in resolving divorces through negotiation, but they are ready to take a case to court when necessary. Buffalo customers report feeling that the attorneys at the Rossi Law Firm fought in their best interests.

Anthony J. Cervi, Attorney at Law

Anthony J. Cervi, Attorney at Law

Anthony J. Cervi has more than 15 years of experience handling divorce cases in Buffalo and has helped hundreds of client during that time. He is also a family law attorney who has experience with child custody and support cases. Buffalo clients say Cervi and his team are professional, knowledgeable and dedicated to their jobs.

Tully Rinckey PLLC

Tully Rinckey PLLC

Tully Rinckey’s attorneys have experience with both contested and uncontested divorces. The firm helps with all legal needs associated with a divorce and has family law attorneys on staff trained to handle child support and custody cases. Reviews from Buffalo customers say the firm’s attorneys are kind and helpful.

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