Attorney Donna L. Buttler – Partner
Practice Focus and Philosophy
I concentrate my practice on Family Law and the issues that have led to the break down of a family including divorce, child custody, parenting plans, support, alimony, restraining orders and premarital agreements. With my experience, knowledge and creativity, I advocate for my client’s interest in ways that rebuild family stability and financial strength after a divorce or separation.
I am in a unique position to advocate for you because I am experienced in so many tools which you can use to bring a resolution to your conflict. I have extensive education in collaborative divorce and mediation. These are negotiation models that avoid the use of the court. If necessary, I am also an experienced litigator who has conducted trials for nearly twenty years in the local state courts and therefore, I am knowledgeable of the decisions of the area judges. Having all these options to resolve your case gives you much more control over the outcome.
The impact of a divorce on a family often requires a comprehensive financial plan as part of rebuilding of your future. Since this is a multidisciplinary firm, I practice with 5 highly knowledgeable attorneys, each with a different area of focus. I am experienced in the review and transfer of retirement accounts and pensions, including the very complicated transfer of military benefits. If your divorce necessitates the purchase or sale of house, a bankruptcy, or a new estate plan, we can draw on the experience of my partners to ensure that you are provided professional advice. If helpful, we can also call upon the several financial advisors and accountants with whom I work, specifically trained in the effects of divorce to create an even more comprehensive and individualized plan all with one goal in mind; to construct your new future recognizing the objectives that you have established.
I also take a team approach when necessary to creating a parenting schedule that meets the needs of you and your children. I work with child experts, psychologists and guardian ad litems to ensure that your children’s best interests are always kept in the forefront of any case. By being proactive in establishing your parenting plan early in your case, I find that the likelihood of going to trial is vastly reduced and leaves the decisions about your children exactly where they should stay; with the parents.
Please consider contacting me for a consultation. First time clients receive a reduced rate and the consult is thorough often lasting 2 to 3 hours.
Developed a financial plan which not only secured the future of the two spouses but also provided for their respective live-in relatives.
Safely secured military pension rights for a wife when her husband was discharged, but not yet eligible for retirement.
Developed a parenting plan that provided safety and security for the children when one of the parents suffered from emotional dysfunction and alcoholism.
Achieved a favorable financial settlement through litigation when the other spouse claimed among other defenses a prenuptial agreement and a reduced income.
Created a secure retirement plan for a client who had earned no retirement benefits throughout the marriage and still had significant children financial obligations.
Career and Education
I have lived almost continuously in the Farmington Valley since I graduated from high school in Simsbury. I attended the University of Rochester and graduated with honors with a dual degree in Biology and Chemistry. I began my career working for the Aetna Life and Casualty in New Jersey and Connecticut and then attended the University of Connecticut Law School; graduating with honors, third in my class. After working for a large Hartford firm and clerking in the Connecticut court for the Honorable Michael R. Sheldon, I entered solo practice in 1997 and formed the current firm with offices in Bloomfield, Granby and Farmington in 2010.
Admitted to bar 1994, Connecticut, Superior Court, Appellate Court, Supreme Court
U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut.
Connecticut Bar Association, Connecticut Bar Association Family Bar Section, Hartford County Bar Association, Family Law Section, co-chair Hartford County Family Law Committee (2010-); American Inns of Court/ Oliver Ellsworth Inn of Court; Connecticut Council for Divorce Mediation, Connecticut Collaborative Divorce Lawyers, International Academy of Collaborative Professionals,
Clerk, the Honorable Michael R. Sheldon
Special Master, Superior Court Family Docket Hartford, New Britain (2000-)
Family Law, Divorce, Custody, Collaborative Divorce, Mediation, Restraining Orders, Prenuptial Agreements, Personal Injury, Medical malpractice