About Me


Ivan Alter

After receiving my J.D. in 1993., I began practicing litigation in New York City, where I amassed over a decade of experience conducting trials and appeals in a broad range of matrimonial and complex commercial matters. While I enjoyed and appreciated the strengths of the judicial system, I also recognized its shortcomings in delivering meaningful and satisfying resolutions to conflicts.

I discovered mediation and collaborative law after my three daughters were born, after I had some time away from litigation. In fact, the farther I got from litigation, the clearer it became that I did not want to return; preserving families and protecting children seemed inconsistent with that system. I even took a brief detour to develop a different passion, earning a master’s degree in landscape design. Studying something so removed from law helped me clear my mind and reassess how I could contribute to, and not detract from, other peoples’ lives. Eventually, I resolved to reinvent my legal career in a way that was more consistent with my values and goals.

My daily interaction with a network of professionals and support resources keeps me on top of legal developments and provides me with the most up-to-date options for clients. I continue to further my lifelong education and share my knowledge through teaching at the forefront of alternative dispute resolution, conflict management, mediation, and collaborative divorce.

Simply put, I’m here to help you get to the heart of your issues and achieve what matters most to you. With support, compassion and direction, I can guide you to emerge ethically, emotionally and financially equipped to move forward with the rest of your, and your family’s, life.

Mediation and collaborative divorce are now the fastest-growing methods of divorce resolution. Let me show you why.

Special Skills

Creative problem solving

Helping people in conflict understand and achieve what matters most to them.

Keen focus on working through the process to achieve resolution.

Extensive litigation background. Real-world experience, including complex commercial litigation, gives me a breadth of knowledge and depth of understanding of issues which provides valuable perspective to my clients.

Continual training and development of critical skills enable me to bring the most current, proven strategies to bear for you.

Focus. Understanding. Commitment. Support. Compassion.


Environmental Review Board (Board Member), New Castle, N.Y.

Whippoorwill Lake Property Owner’s Association (Board of Directors/President), Chappaqua, N.Y.

New Castle Baseball & Softball Association (Coach and former Board Member), Chappaqua, N.Y.

Chappaqua Central School District (Committee chairperson and frequent volunteer)

Specialized Training

Center for Understanding in Conflict – Teacher training program

Mediation Intensive Training Program

Hudson Valley Collaborative Divorce Training Consortium

Interdisciplinary Training in Collaborative Divorce


Additional Training

  • Ongoing Support and Development Collaborative/Mediation
  • Annual Trainings in Collaborative Law, Mediation, and Domestic Relations Law
  • Self-Reflection in Action for Conflict Professionals
  • Collaborative Break Points
  • Practical Considerations in New York State Mediation
  • Recent Developments in New York Matrimonial Law
  • Ethical Conflicts Among Collaborative Professionals
  • Attachment Styles and Relationship Breakdown
  • Advanced workshop on collaborative practice
  • Symposium on late life divorce
  • Conflict resolution – from blame to understanding
  • Mediating high conflict divorces
  • Mediating pre-nuptial agreements
  • Understanding the role of implicit bias in mediation
  • New York’s Child Parent Security Act
  • The Role of Outside Forces in Mediation and Collaborative Law
  • Streamlined Collaborative Practice
  • Qualified Domestic Relations Orders
  • Mediating Interim Agreements
  • Deepening the Dialogue in Collaborative Practice
  • Creating Effective Parenting Plans
  • Mediation issues unique to the LGBTQ+ community
  • Examining the role of outside counsel in Mediation
  • Recognizing and Responding to Resistance

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