Unflagging client commitment
The attorneys of Bodnar & Milone LLP provide their clients with tenacious representation throughout the course of their marital disputes. With attention to detail, but with an eye toward the bigger picture, the firm's lawyers are able to apply their experience to each client's unique situation and find the right solution.
Learn more about each of the firm's attorneys:
Peter O. Bodnar, a member of the firm, is an experienced matrimonial litigator, having so limited his practice over the course of the past 37 years. He also mediates matrimonial and family law matters. A member of the Executive Committee of the Westchester County Bar Association Family Law Section since 1992 (Chair from 2000 to 2002) and a member of the Executive Committee of the New York State Bar Association Family Law Section since 2000 (presently Chair of the Long Range Planning Committee), he has been included in The Best Lawyers in America since 1995, the Top 25 Westchester County Super Lawyers from inception to date, is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (member of the Board of Governors of the New York State Chapter and previously Parliamentarian 2007–2008) and a Fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Mr. Bodnar is also a member of the Association of Collaborative Lawyers of Rockland-Westchester and of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.
AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review RatedSM by Martindale-Hubbell® and included in Who's Who in American Law, Who's Who in America, and Who's Who in the World, Mr. Bodnar is a lecturer for the New York State Bar Association, the Pace University School of Law Women's Justice Center and the Appellate Division, Second Department Law Guardian Program.
Beyond his legal work, Mr. Bodnar is a worldwide traveler, and husbands various business interests in Europe and Asia through entities based in Budapest, Hungary, an ancestral home.
Since her admission to the New York State Bar in 1990, and the Connecticut State Bar in 1989, Ms. Milone has limited her practice to matrimonial and family law, litigation and, more recently, Collaborative Divorce, an alternative dispute resolution methodology.
Ms. Milone has represented matrimonial litigants in the counties of Westchester, New York, Kings, Nassau and Suffolk, in both Supreme and Family Court and in the Appellate Divisions of the First and Second Departments. She is a long-time member of the Family Law Sections of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA), the Westchester County Bar Association (WCBA) and the Westchester Women’s Bar Association. A member of the Executive Committees of the Family Law Sections of the NYSBA and the WCBA, Ms. Milone is immediate past Vice Chair and the current Chair of the Family Law Section of the WCBA. She has also been included in all editions of New York Super Lawyers from inception to date.
In addition, she is a founding member, past Vice President (2003-2005) and past President (2005-2007) of the Association of Collaborative Lawyers of Rockland-Westchester, a member of the New York Association of Collaborative Professionals and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
Ms. Milone periodically lectures for the Family Law Section of the NYSBA, and was Editor-in-Chief (2000-2008) of the Domestic Law Review, a quarterly publication of the Family Law Section of the WCBA. She also co-authored an article entitled “Judicial Alchemy: Turning Losses into Marital Assets,” which was published in the Spring, 2000 and Millennium issues of the Family Law Review, a publication of the NYSBA Family Law Section.
John P. Frucco brings a unique breadth of legal experience to the practice of matrimonial and family Law. With decades of trial experience, Mr. Frucco has successfully litigated cases involving the full spectrum of matrimonial and family law issues. He is also a seasoned and tough negotiator of favorable settlements. Mr. Frucco has been listed in Super Lawyers of the New York Metropolitan Area from 2007 through 2013.
Mr. Frucco’s courtroom work spans both sides of the bench and many areas of the law. He began his career in the U. S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, where he attained the rank of Captain. Subsequently, Mr. Frucco worked as an Assistant District Attorney in the Office of the Westchester County District Attorney. Within the court system, Mr. Frucco was Confidential Law Secretary to New York State Supreme Court Justice, the Honorable George D. Burchell, and was also Town Justice of the Yorktown Justice Court in Yorktown, New York.
In private general practice, Mr. Frucco has worked extensively not only in matrimonial/family law, but also in real estate, tax, contracts, business law, personal injury and trusts and estates. The skills gained in this varied work invaluably enhance his matrimonial/family law practice. Mr. Frucco was a partner in two Westchester County law firms before becoming a founding member of Berman Bavero Frucco and Gouz, p.c. in 1996, now BFGMS.
Mr. Frucco is a Fellow of the American Academy Matrimonial Lawyers. He is also a member in good standing of the Westchester County Bar Association and its Family Law Section, the New York State Bar Association and its Family Law Section, the Northern Westchester Bar Association, and the Yorktown Bar Association, of which he was President.
Mr. Frucco received his B.A. from the University of Dayton and his law degree from New York Law School, where he was an Editor of the Law Review. He is admitted to practice in New York State, the United States Court of Military Appeals, the United States Supreme Court, the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, and the United States Tax Court.
Mr. Frucco lives in Westchester County with his wife, Joanne. Together they have six children and sixteen grandchildren.
Pamela Jenson, who has practiced exclusively in the field of matrimonial law for more than 25 years, is a 1982 graduate of the University of Washington School of Law and a 1979 summa cum laude graduate of SUNY Buffalo, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She has been a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers since 1999 and has also been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America in the practice area of Family Law. Her practice includes the negotiation and drafting of prenuptial agreements, the negotiated resolution of marital and family disputes, post-divorce issues, litigation, and appeals, as well as a growing practice in the burgeoning field of collaborative law. She is a member of the New York Association of Collaborative Professionals, the Association of Collaborative Lawyers of Rockland/Westchester, the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, the Westchester Women’s Bar Association and the Family Law Sections of the New York State Bar Association and the Westchester County Bar Association. Ms. Jenson has also been included in New York Super Lawyers from 2010 to date.
Erik Kristensen graduated from Brooklyn Law School in 1996 and was admitted to the New York bar in 1997. Commencing in 2000, Mr. Kristensen limited his practice to exclusively matrimonial and family law matters, with regard to which he has represented litigants in the County of Westchester, and the five counties within New York City, in both the Supreme and Family Courts, as well as before the Supreme Courts for both Rockland and Ulster County.
Mr. Kristensen has represented litigants in appeals to the Appellate Division, Second Department, upon family law matters on numerous occasions and in which the Court adopted the position he advanced on behalf of his client: (Matter of Duff v. Gregory, 2016 NY Slip Op 00185 [2nd Dept 2016]; Casler v. Casler, 131 A.D.3d 664 [2d Dept 2015]; Dickson v. Dickson, 127 A.D.3d 1128 [2d Dept 2015][on the brief]; Matter of Gregory v. Gregory, 109 A.D.3d 616 [2nd Dept, 2013]; Boster-Burton v. Burton, 92 A.D.3d 909 [2nd Dept 2012]; Boster-Burton v. Burton, 73 A.D.3d 671, 900 N.Y.S.2d 375 [2nd Dept 2010]; Szekely v. Szekely, 73 A.D.3d 1158, 902 N.Y.S.2d 129 [2nd Dept 2010]; Milone v. Milone, 51 A.D.3d 643, 857 N.Y.S.2d 673 [2nd Dept 2008]; Gross v. Gross, 15 A.D.3d 442, 789 N.Y.S.2d 447 [2nd Dept 2005].
Mr. Kristensen is a member of the Family Law Section of the New York State Bar Association, of which Section he is a member of the Executive Committee and Co-Chair of the Legislative Committee. Mr. Kristensen has lectured for the New York State Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Program upon the following topics: “The Basics of Business Valuation in Matrimonial Practice”, (March 2016); “Family Court Practice. Topic: Motion Practice”, (April 2014); “Basic Matrimonial Practice - Motions and Pretrial Intervention (Ocober, 2013); “Basic Matrimonial Practice: Practice Management, Ethics, and Professionalism", (Spring, 2009). Mr. Kristensen is also a member of the Domestic Relations and Family Law Section of the Westchester County Bar Association, with regard to which he is presently the Treasurer. Mr. Kristensen has lectured for that organization upon the topic of “Cutting-Edge Legal Technology for Family Lawyers and Using Your iPad in the Courtroom" (June, 2013). He is a resident of the Village of Pleasantville, where he serves as a member of the Village’s Ethics Committee, and as a Board Member of the local AYSO organization.
Tamara A. Mitchel practices in all aspects of matrimonial and family law. She graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School, after receiving her B.A. magna cum laude from Harvard College, where she was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She also graduated from the Family Law Trial Advocacy Institute of the American Bar Association, Family Law Section. Ms. Mitchel was selected for inclusion in the New York Metro Super Lawyers list for 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Ms. Mitchel is a partner at Berman Frucco Gouz Mitchel & Schub p.c., having worked at the firm since 2002. She has represented clients in negotiating and drafting agreements and litigating complex financial, child custody, domestic violence, and post-divorce enforcement and modification matters. She previously worked at the Pace Women’s Justice Center, where she was one of the original supervising attorneys of the Family Court Legal Program, in which she represented, and taught law students to represent, hundreds of domestic violence victims in order of protection, custody and support proceedings in the Westchester County Family Courts. Ms. Mitchel previously worked as an associate in matrimonial and family law for a sole practitioner and local court judge in Westchester County, and as an associate in litigation at a large, corporate law firm in New York City.
Ms. Mitchel is the immediate past Chair of the Westchester County Bar Association Domestic Relations and Family Law Section, holding that position from 2014 to 2016. She was Editor-in-Chief of the Domestic Law Review, published by that Section, for over 7 years, until 2014 and is currently Co-Chair of the Continuing Legal Education Committee of that Section. Ms. Mitchel serves by appointment as Co-Chair of the Custody Committee, and on the Executive Committee of the New York State Bar Association Family Law Section. She also serves by appointment on the Board of Directors of the Westchester Women's Bar Association Foundation. Ms. Mitchel is a member of the New York Association of Collaborative Professionals and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, certified to practice collaborative law. Ms. Mitchel is a member of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. She is admitted to practice law in the State of New York.
Ms. Mitchel frequently lectures for and chairs Continuing Legal Education programs for attorneys on many different topics in matrimonial and family law. Among the organizations for whom she lectures are the New York State Bar Association, Pace University School of Law Center for Continuing Legal Education, the Westchester Women’s Bar Association, the Ninth Judicial District Committee to Promote Gender Fairness in the Courts, and the Pace Women’s Justice Center Survivor’s Law Project/Moderate Means Panel. She has also frequently lectured on topics in matrimonial and family law to financial organizations and community service providers such as Citigroup’s Women & Co. and the Family Law Lecture Series of the Westchester Division of the Pace Women’s Justice Center. Ms. Mitchel has authored numerous accredited continuing legal education materials on various topics in matrimonial and family law, co-authored a law review article on the constitutional rights of domestic violence victims, and wrote an in-service police training manual on domestic violence published by Westchester County. Ms. Mitchel has also recently appeared on television and radio, as well as authored a newspaper article, on various topics in divorce law.
Ms. Mitchel has twice been awarded a Certificate of Distinguished Service by the Westchester County, Office of the County Executive, for her legal service to the citizens of Westchester County. In 2011 she was awarded the Diane White Legal Advocacy Award by the Pace Women’s Justice Center, received a U.S. House of Representatives Congressional Proclamation, and two New York State Senate Proclamations for her legal services to the community.
Ms. Mitchel serves on the Executive Committee of the Friends of Gail Advisory Board of the Pace Women’s Justice Center. Ms. Mitchel also served as a board member of Hope’s Door. She previously served on the Resource Committee of the Summer Justice Academy for Young Women, co-sponsored by the New York Chapter of the National Association of Women Judges and Pace Law School. She is also a lifetime member of the Harvard-Radcliffe Club of Westchester, a former member of its Schools and Scholarships Committee and a former member of its Board of Governors.
Ms. Mitchel also studied at the Juilliard School and for several years was a professional opera soloist, primarily in Europe. She lives with her husband in Westchester County, where they raised their two children, one of whom is a musician, the other a mechanical engineer.
Benjamin E. Schub has practiced exclusively in the area of matrimonial and family law for many years. With the benefit of his MBA degree in finance and accounting, Mr. Schub is particularly skilled in handling complex and sophisticated financial issues in divorce cases, and he has extensive experience with all aspects of custody, parental access and relocation issues as well. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and has been named in Super Lawyers Top Attorneys in the New York Metro Area in the area of Matrimonial Law for years 2007 through 2014. Mr. Schub serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the New York State Bar Association’s Family Law Section and is co-chair of its Committee on Legislation. As co-chair of the Committee on Legislation, Mr. Schub assists in drafting proposed legislation and evaluates pending bills in the area of family law. He additionally serves on the Interdisciplinary Forum on Mental Health and Family Law, and is co-chair of continuing legal education for the Domestic Relations and Family Law Section of the Westchester County Bar Association. Mr. Schub is also a member of the Board of Directors of the New Rochelle Bar Association and previously served on the New York State Bar Association's Membership Committee. Mr. Schub has additionally served on the Matrimonial Committee of the New York City Bar Association and has lectured in the area of matrimonial and family law for the New York State Bar Association, the New York State Appellate Division, Second Department, and Pace University School of Law. Mr. Schub has also published a number of articles in the area of matrimonial law in the New York Law Journal and the New York Family Law Monthly, where he served on the Board of Editors.
Prior to joining our firm, Mr. Schub was a partner at the law firm of Goldfeder Abraham & Schub P.C., where his practice was similarly limited to all aspects of matrimonial and family law.
Mr. Schub received his undergraduate degree from Columbia University in 1987 and his J.D. degree from the U.C.L.A. School of Law in 1990. In addition to his law degree, Mr. Schub has an M.B.A. degree from the University of Rochester Simon School of Business in the areas of Public Accounting and Finance.
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Justin Contratto is an experienced family law practitioner and trial attorney.
Prior to joining Bodnar and Milone, Justin worked for well-regarded matrimonial firms in Manhattan and Northern Virginia, where he represented clients in complex matrimonial matters. Justin’s matrimonial practice has focused on the representation of high net worth individuals, including partners at major law firms, tech industry and finance executives, and high-profile public figures.
Justin began his legal career in Brooklyn Family Court as a trial attorney with the Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Practice, where he was respected for his exceptional trial skills and devotion to his clients. While with the Juvenile Rights Practice, Justin was elected by his peers to the position of Vice-President of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys, a testament to his tireless advocacy.
Following three years with the Juvenile Rights Practice, Justin transferred to the Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Defense Practice in Manhattan. Justin represented clients charged with all manner of crimes, from minor infractions to serious felony offenses in Manhattan Criminal and Supreme Courts. Always a fierce advocate for his clients, Justin conducted both bench and jury trials as sole and lead counsel.
Justin received his B.A. in History from the University of Minnesota, and his J.D. from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis.
Henry S. Berman is among the most distinguished and respected attorneys in the field of matrimonial and family law, in which he has practiced exclusively since 1977. Mr. Berman brings unparalleled legal and financial experience and acumen to the practice. He also profoundly appreciates the impact of divorce on clients and is committed, where possible, to resolving cases with the least amount of financial and emotional cost, while achieving positive results. Nevertheless, in those matters where litigation is necessary, Mr. Berman believes that a powerful team should provide that service – a belief that led Mr. Berman to form the firm of Berman Bavero Frucco & Gouz p.c. in 1996, and the firm of Berman Frucco Gouz Mitchel & Schub p.c. in 2013 to handle all aspects of family law and all approaches to it. Mr. Berman has acted as the firms’ managing partner since their inception.
Mr. Berman has recently been named Best Lawyers’ 2011 White Plains Family Lawyer of the Year. He has been a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers since 1980, and was recently elected to the Board of Managers of its New York Chapter, on which he previously served as Vice President and Executive Committee Member. Mr. Berman’s many other professional distinctions include being listed in Best Lawyers in America, Matrimonial Law, every year since 1989 and being selected as one of the Ten Leaders in Matrimonial Law in the Ninth Judicial District for every year since this list was created. Mr. Berman has been listed as one of the top 25 lawyers in Westchester County by the New York Times Super Lawyer section every year from 2007 through 2014. He has consistently received the highest peer ratings in Martindale Hubbell. He is also listed in U.S. News and World Report Best Lawyers - Family Law.
Mr. Berman is frequently called upon by matrimonial attorneys in Westchester County and New York City to act as a binding arbitrator in their cases in which he is the trier of fact and renders decisions on all issues. He also practices mediation and collaborative law.
Mr. Berman's career is also notable for decades of active service to advancing family law and legal practice. He has held leadership positions in bar associations, including Chairman of the Family Law Sections of both the New York State Bar Association and the Westchester County Bar Association, and Vice President of the New York State Bar Association for the Ninth Judicial District. He was also a member of the House of Delegates of the New York State Bar Association. Mr. Berman is a sustaining member of the Westchester Women’s Bar Association.
From 1985 to the present Mr. Berman has been Co-Chair of the Continuing Legal Education Committee of the New York State Bar Association Family Law Section. In this capacity, he plans and participates in accredited continuing legal education programs that take place several times every year. Mr. Berman has lectured innumerable times on divorce and family law to the bar and judiciary, under the auspices of bar associations, law schools, judicial training institutes, and other legal organizations. In September 2010 Mr. Berman presented a popular webcast for the New York State Bar Association and a widely attended lecture for the Westchester County Bar Association on New Legislation for the Family Law Practitioner: An Analysis of New York’s New Laws on “No-Fault” Divorce, Counsel Fees, Temporary Maintenance Guidelines, Child Support Modification and Orders of Protection.
Mr. Berman graduated from St. John’s University School of Law, where he was an editor of the Law Review and the Catholic Lawyer and was named a St. Thomas Moore Scholar. Following his law school graduation, Mr. Berman received a Masters in Law from New York University School of Law. He began his career as a Law Assistant in the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court for the Second Judicial Department, and then became a Law Secretary to a Supreme Court Justice in the Ninth Judicial District in Westchester County. Mr. Berman then entered private practice, joining the Family Law Department of an international, general practice law firm, of which he subsequently became Chair. He is admitted to practice in New York State and the United States District Court, Eastern District of New York.
Mr. Berman has been married to his law partner, Ronnie Gouz, since 1992, and they have four children. He is an avid golfer and enjoys traveling.
Ronnie Gouz has practiced matrimonial and family law for over twenty-five years. Her broad expertise and creative, practical judgment have been recognized by her peers and the judiciary in the many leadership and advisory roles she has held and the frequent lectures she has given. Ms. Gouz works closely with her clients to obtain for them a fair settlement that will endure. "The best revenge, I tell my clients, is living a good and satisfying life. That's what a proper settlement contributes to."
Ms. Gouz’s prominent service to the profession includes her appointment as Chair of the New York State Bar Association, Family Law Section, a position she held from 2008 to 2010. She was also Chair of both the Nassau County Bar Association, Matrimonial and Family Law Committee, and the Westchester County Bar Association, Family Law Section, on which she also served as a member of the Board of Directors. Ms. Gouz has been a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers since 1989 and in January 2011 was elected to a second term on the Board of Managers of its New York Chapter. She is also a member of the New York State Bar Association, Special Committee on Lawyers in Transition, its Special Committee on Legal Specialization in New York, and the recently established Task Force on Family Court.
In 2009 Ms. Gouz was appointed a member of the New York State Office of Court Administration, Matrimonial Practice Advisory Committee, on which she currently continues to serve. She was an appointed member of the New York State Courts Committee on Matrimonial Practice from 2004 through 2009. Ms. Gouz is an appointed member of the Law Guardian Advisory Committee of the New York State Ninth Judicial District, a position she has held from 2004 to the present.
Ms. Gouz has organized seminars and lectured frequently to judges and their staffs on many topics in matrimonial and family law at the New York State Judicial Training Institute and the New York State Office of Court Administration. For over two decades, she has given frequent lectures on matrimonial and family law to organizations such as the New York State Bar Association, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers - New York Chapter, the Westchester County Bar Association, the Nassau Academy of Law and the CPA Society. For over a decade, Ms. Gouz was the Recent Decisions Editor of the Westchester County Bar Association Domestic Law Review.
Ms. Gouz received her B.A. and Juris Doctor degrees from Hofstra University. She subsequently joined a prominent matrimonial law firm in Nassau County, swiftly becoming partner. Moving to Westchester County, she became a partner in the Family Law Department of a large, general practice firm before becoming a founding member of Berman Bavero Frucco & Gouz p.c. She is admitted to practice in New York State. Ms. Gouz was named on New York Super Lawyers - Metro Edition every year from 2007 through 2014, one of the Ten Leaders in Matrimonial and Divorce Law 2003-2004 and on the 2007 Top Attorneys in Westchester Area. She is listed in Best Lawyers in America, Family Law.
Ms. Gouz is married to Henry Berman, her law partner, and they live in Westchester County. They have four children and six grandchildren. She enjoys the theater and ballet, travel and golf, and is an avid reader.