James R. Skirbunt, Esq.
Attorney in Cleveland, Ohio
Contact Skirbunt & Skirbunt to discuss your legal matter
Boston College Law School
Long recognized as a successful divorce trial attorney, Jim is a past president of the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. He has represented high profile clients in courtrooms throughout Ohio. Jim’s trial and appellate experience includes the following matters: business valuation issues; the tracing of separate property; enforcement of premarital agreements; determination of spousal and child support in high income cases; relocation issues; and, the determination of whether cohabitation has occurred. Jim is best known for his creativity with respect to litigation strategies. This creativity has made him the “go to” lawyer for individuals seeking solutions to complicated problems requiring litigation, whether the issue is financial, or it involves the children of the parties.
As the creator and principal architect of DivorceChoice® and the founder of the Center for Principled Family Advocacy, Jim is also a pioneer in introducing and developing alternative processes to litigation in divorce. Jim recognizes that, once a decision has been made to end a marriage, the most important question facing the family is “how” the relationship would be terminated. Jim understands that the choice of process has a significant impact on the non-economic, emotional costs to the family. Providing clients with all of their options is a cornerstone of Jim’s practice philosophy. Jim’s 40+ years of experience enables him to provide clients with sound advice and to obtain consistently desirable outcomes, whether the choice of process is litigation, DivorceChoice®, mediation, or collaborative divorce.
Jim’s reputation as a problem solver has resulted in a demand for his services as a litigator, arbitrator, facilitator, and mediator. Jim is a certified family law mediator and has successfully mediated difficult matters for parties who appeared to be left with no option other than trial. He also frequently serves as a facilitator in complex cases, assisting in the management of the process and the negotiations in divorce cases.
Jim has twice been invited to address family law judges and magistrates at the Ohio Judicial College. He has lectured for numerous organizations, including the Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and bar associations throughout Northeast Ohio. Jim is also an annual guest lecturer at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, teaching interest-based negotiating skills to law students. Jim also is a contributing author to the book “The Power of the Professional.”
Jim is married to his law partner Sharon A. Skirbunt. They have three children and three grandchildren. He is a graduate of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and Boston College School of Law. For the last 26 years consecutively, he has been included in the Woodward/White publication “The Best Lawyers in America” and in 2011, and again in 2016, he was named Lawyer of the Year for Family Law by the publication. He has been selected as an “Ohio Super Lawyer” in all editions of the publication. Jim is rated as a “Preeminent Attorney” and “Judicial AV Preeminent Attorney” by Martindale-Hubbell. He is listed in America’s Most Honored Lawyers, recognizing the top 1% of lawyers nationally. Most recently, Jim was recognized in the Chambers and Partners High Net Worth (HNW) Guide 2020 as one of only four divorce attorneys comprising the inaugural Band 1, the highest recognition offered by Chambers, for Family/Matrimonial Law in Ohio. Chambers HNW is an independent directory that ranks the top lawyers and law firms for high net worth individuals in the United States and around the world.
Skirbunt & Skirbunt LLC has been recognized by US News and World Report as a Tier I firm, the publication’s highest ranking, in family law in all annual rankings.