Valerie J. Botter

413-586-8651
Creative solutions for family transitions.

Legal Representation

As a domestic relations attorney, Valerie Botter represents clients by providing legal advice, negotiating settlements, and by representing clients in the Hampshire Probate and Family Court Family Resolutions Specialty Court (FRSC).  Despite the number of divorce and other family law matters that she has handled during her 33 year career as a family law attorney and mediator, Valerie considers each and every new case and mediation to be unique and deserving of individual attention. Valerie always searches for a creative solution and encourages her clients to keep their children’s needs at the forefront when considering various legal options.

Valerie is available as a lawyer to advise and negotiate the following practice areas:

MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE

  • Prenuptial Agreements
  • Postnuptial Agreements
  • Separation
  • Divorce
  • Custody
  • Visitation/Parenting Schedules
  • Removal (moving children to another state)
  • Child Support
  • Alimony
  • Division of Property
  • Contempt
  • Modification
  • Gay, lesbian, and non-traditional families

UNMARRIED COUPLES AND PARENTS

  • Relationship Contracts
  • Separation
  • Paternity/Parentage
  • Custody
  • Visitation/Parenting Schedules
  • Removal (moving children to another state)
  • Child Support (past and present)
  • Modification
  • Gay, lesbian, and non-traditional families

FAMILY RESOLUTIONS SPECIALTY COURT

The Family Resolutions Specialty Court (FRSC) provides the community with an alternative to what most people think of as a courtroom experience. The parties to a divorce or other domestic relations matter meet with the FRSC Judge, a Family Consultant (mental health professional), the parties’ lawyers (if they have counsel), a mediator, and often an attorney for the child, all of whom are part of the FRSC team.  Courtroom sessions are referred to as Court Conferences and begin with the FRSC Judge and other team members focusing on the children by viewing the parents’ photos of their children. The FRSC team sits together at a large table in the Courtroom with the FRSC Judge, and the parties speak directly to the Judge. Most FRSC cases reach full settlement, but if part or most of a case cannot be resolved after team effort, the FRSC Judge makes a decision on the unresolved issue(s) after a Court conference at which each person on the team speaks directly to the FRSC Judge.

Valerie is grateful to the FRSC Judges, retired family law professionals, court staff, and volunteer lawyers and mediators who created and sustain the FRSC. The FRSC is the only court like it in the United States and is modeled on a similar initiative in Australia. Valerie has been on the FRSC’s steering committee since its inception, and since the FRSC began taking cases in 2016, has served in the FRSC as counsel for parents, counsel for children, and as a mediator.

The FRSC’s approach to divorce and other family law matters gives the parties a strong voice in the court process and an opportunity to work through difficult issues with a team instead of a lengthy, contested Court process that is typically stressful and incurs substantial legal fees. Western Massachusetts children and parents are fortunate to have a team of highly committed people, including our FRSC Judges, whose devotion and hard work allows the FRSC to serve the community and bring the best parts of alternative dispute resolution to the courtroom.

FRSC article, Daily Hampshire Gazette, 7/4/18

Email Valerie or call 413-586-8651.