Kara M. Bellew
Kara is a partner of Rower LLC and has been practicing exclusively in the field of matrimonial and family law since 2005. She was named a Rising Star in family law by New York Super Lawyers in both 2015 and 2016. As both a seasoned litigator and a trained mediator, Kara is uniquely suited to help clients resolve their divorces in a way that is right for them.
Prior to joining Rower LLC, Kara was an associate at Miller Zeiderman Wiederkehr & Schwarz LLP, where she gained valuable litigation experience in both Westchester and Manhattan and deepened her understanding of complex financial cases. Kara began her legal career in family law at Sanctuary for Families, Center for Battered Women’s Legal Services. During her nine-year tenure there, Kara managed a high volume of contested matrimonial and family law cases that required her to appear before the judges of New York and Kings County on matters including orders of protection, custody/visitation, and contested divorce. Kara’s experience at Sanctuary for Families not only taught her about the complex nature of domestic violence, but also shaped her commitment to client-centered advocacy. Kara believes that all clients must be informed about each and every aspect of their cases, and strategic decisions must be made to achieve the client’s goals, not the attorney’s.
Kara is a patient and steadfast advocate for her clients. As one client stated, “Kara offered me the perfect combination of competence and compassion .... In addition to her thorough and knowledgeable handling of all aspects of the process, she was extremely sensitive to the emotional factors associated with this difficult and trying time in my life.”
Kara recognizes that certain clients may benefit from a less adversarial process, one that is grounded in collaboration and conducted outside of a courtroom. As a mediator, Kara works with couples by helping to facilitate their communication in an effective manner and assisting them in reaching an agreement that feels fair to both of them. Kara trained in mediation at the Center for Understanding in Conflict where she participated in the intensive forty hour Working Creatively with Conflict training.
While Kara believes clients often achieve the best outcome when they can reach a settlement, she does not hesitate to engage the court system when necessary. Kara is a skilled and tenacious litigator, having tried numerous custody and financial cases in the Supreme and Family Courts of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Westchester. In May of 2017, she attended the National Family Law Trial Institute, an intensive eight-day trial skills training course, in Houston, Texas.
Kara has a strong commitment to pro bono legal services and volunteerism. She twice ran the New York City Marathon to raise money and support for Sanctuary for Families. She is a member of the Legal Advisory Council and the Pro Bono Council at Sanctuary for Families. Kara is a member of the New York State Bar Association, New York Women’s Bar Association, Westchester County Women’s Bar Association, and Westchester Bar Association.
Kara is a 2004 graduate of Northeastern University School of Law. In 2000, she earned a Master of Social Work from Boston University. In 1998 Kara graduated from Saint Joseph’s University, where she majored in psychology. She lives in Westchester County with her husband and two young children.
2019 "Orders of Protection" by Kara M. Bellew | New York State Bar Association: Family Court Practical Skills CLE
2018 "How to Handle a Custody Case Part I and II" | New York State Bar Association: Family Court Practical Skills CLE
2017 "Smart Women Plan Ahead" | Kurzman Eisenberg
2017 "Motions and Pre-Trial Intervention in Matrimonial Practice" | New York State Bar Association
2018 "The Unexpected Upside of Getting a Prenup" | Psychology Today
2018 "Substance Abuse in Divorce Is as Complicated as You’d Think" | Psychology Today
2018 "Fostering the Child-Non-Custodial Parent Relationship is Key"| Psychology Today
2018 "Co-Parenting After Divorce: It Requires A Shared Commitment" | DivorcedMoms.com
2018 “MeToo Movement: Misconduct and Divorce” | New York Law Journal
2019 "How Domestic Abusers Weaponize the Courts" | The Atlantic
2018 "How Your Divorce Can Have Psychological Implications" | Psychology Today
2018 "A Family Lawyer on the Challenges Facing Domestic Violence Survivors Seeking a Divorce" | Pacific Standard
2018 "5 Reasons to Get Married That Have Nothing To Do With Love" | Brides.com
Custody Issues in a Divorce
Kara explains custody issues in the divorce process.
How to finalize your divorce collaboratively through mediation
Kara M. Bellew explains the mediation process and its benefits along with who is an ideal candidate for this collaborative divorce approach.