Our Mission

To empower men and women who are going through the stages of divorce, offer emotional support, keep the costs of their divorce down, and to guide their children successfully through the divorce process.

Francine BarasFrancine Baras, L.C.S.W

Francine Baras, earned a master’s degree in social work from Columbia University and has an advanced degree in child psychology and parent guidance. Francine has had a private practice in Manhattan for 25 years, specializing in child and family issues and is also a trained divorce mediator.

I myself, a child of divorce, have always wanted to help parents understand how to help their children get through the divorce transition in the best possible way and to help families reform themselves into a positive future together. When my parents divorced, they did everything wrong!!! I spent years trying to work through all of the mistakes my parents made. This is why it has really been a dream of mine to help both parents and their children see a clear path to the other side of this time in their family life. Francine has been happily married for 48 years but when she met her husband he was divorced with 3 children.

Francine has been living a blended family life for the last 48 years, so has tremendous experience personally and professionally with divorcing families.



Nicole Baras Feuer, CDC – Certified Divorce Coach

Registered Dietitian for many years running support groups and working one on one with people who had heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

In 1999 after her first son was born, Nicole decided to become a stay at home mother. In 2001, she welcomed her second son. After 8 years at home with her 2 boys, she decided it was time to go back to work and was seeking a career change. It was at that time that she became a divorce mediator with advanced training in custody and visitation.

In 2009, after working for 2 years in private practice as a divorce mediator in NYC, Nicole was faced with her own painful and complex divorce. “I was shocked at how emotionally difficult and overwhelming the process was for me.” This journey, coupled with her experience as a divorce mediator, lead to her desire to begin helping others cope with the complexities that divorce brings. “Everyone needs emotional support and the legal system just doesn’t provide this!”

Nicole, along with Francine Baras, founded Start Over Smart – designed to provide practical and emotional support to men and women at any stage of the divorce process. In 2012 they produced the first-ever Divorce Expo in NYC giving hundreds of people the opportunity to connect with divorce professionals and resources.

Click Here to view a video recap of the Expo.

What I took away from the expo was that people just didn’t even know where to begin and were in desperate need of guidance. So we have made it our mission to educate, offer support and hold your hand as you go through your divorce (one of life’s most challenging transitions). No one should face divorce alone. We all need a strong support system and that is what we provide our clients.