Sharon Oberst DeFala, Esq., Mediator

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CONNECTICUT: Fairfield County, New Haven County

I am a family law attorney and mediator who has been helping bring peace and calm to distressing situations for more than 30 years in Fairfield County, Connecticut. I believe that family law is the last place that people need a litigator in their lives.  There is already enough tension, shame, and accusations without an outsider exacerbating it.

Most of the causes of marital breakdown come down to broken communication systems, rather than malice. Once we can step past the hurt and anger caused by the breakdown of the marital relationship, I help people look towards a larger, brighter future.

Divorce does not and cannot fix another person, it can’t undo the past, and it doesn’t change the history you share with each other. My job is to help you preserve the parts of your life that you cherish – the relationships with your children, your friends, your in-laws, and neighbors, while re-structuring (not exploding) the spousal relationship.

One of the true joys of my life is when I run into the people with whom I have worked on their divorces. So often they hug me, introduce me to their children as someone who “helped mommy and daddy through a hard time,” and tell me of their happiness on the other side of their divorce.

Just recently I happened to be meeting a friend for dinner in town. Another woman was walking in at the same time as I was. She looked familiar. She had two small boys with her, as well as a man her own age and a teenager. It turned out to be a former client of mine, who was bringing her new boyfriend, his high school junior, and her twin boys to celebrate the twins’ birthday at their dad’s restaurant! I cannot make this up. The ex-husband owns the restaurant, so it is where his sons wanted their fancy celebration dinner. The twins chose the guest list, and the adults all complied.

I watched the ex-husband and boyfriend meet for the first time. I was amazed when the chef brought the teenage visitor into the kitchen and let him help plate desserts for everyone! It was like having a front row seat to someone else’s joy!


BUT – this is the most important part: The divorcing couple did not come to my office as happy loving friends who just wanted to process some paperwork. They were mad when I met them. They were hurt and angry and said mean things to and about each other. They were each scared for the future – he that he would lose touch with his children; she that she would be destitute without his additional income.

It was not an easy divorce process. It rarely is.  Growth, by definition, is painful – it’s a time in which we push past our comfort. The question is what are we growing during the divorce process: more generosity, compassion, and tolerance? Or less?

I call my practice holistic divorce because it incorporates the whole picture of a family’s life.  No family is 2 people on an island. It is a web of relationships, communications, aspirations, hopes and fears. I never forget that my clients are whole people.


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Sharon Oberst DeFala

Posted 4 weeks ago

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Business Hours
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  • Monday
    09:00 am - 05:00 pm
  • Tuesday
    09:00 am - 05:00 pm
  • Wednesday
    09:00 am - 05:00 pm
  • Thursday
    09:00 am - 05:00 pm
  • Friday
    09:00 am - 05:00 pm
  • Saturday
  • Sunday

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