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Cara Lynn Santosuosso

Divorce and separation Attorney at Westlake, OH

4.0   14 reviews
Virtual consultation available
Virtual consultation available
  • Licensed for 25 years
    State OH
    Acquired 1998
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Cara

Learn Cara’s areas of practice.


Cara L. Santosuosso, Esq. focuses her practice on civil litigation and alternative dispute resolution, primarily in the areas of divorce, child custody, family advocacy, mediation, collaborative and/or cooperative divorce, grandparents' rights, adoption and other family law matters.  Ms. Santosuosso is also a trained mediator, and often acts as a parenting coordinator in high conflict divorce and custody cases.


Previously, Ms. Santosuosso served as an associate with another Cleveland area firm, where she concentrated in civil and criminal litigation in the state and federal courts.


Ms. Santosuosso's past experience also includes serving for two years as a judicial attorney in the Ohio Eighth District Court of Appeals, where she worked on cases dealing with administrative law, torts, labor and employment, product liability, medical malpractice, criminal and a host of other matters. 


She also served four years in the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office as an assistant prosecuting attorney in the children and family services unit.  In this role, she litigated child abuse, neglect and dependency cases and managed the agency’s entire caseload of adoption litigation in probate court.


Ms. Santosuosso began her legal career in private practice following graduation in 1998 from Cleveland Marshall College of Law.  She majored in English Literature at John Carroll University, where she graduated magna cum laude.

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Law Offices of Cara L. Santosuosso, LLC


4.0 / 5.0
  14 customer reviews
Posted by Adam | February 21, 2024
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Outstanding Lawyer! Highly Recommended!
Cara and her paralegal, Allison, did a phenomenal job handling my dissolution and were there to guide me every step. Both were organized, efficient, thorough, and highly professional throughout the process. I would recommend Cara and her team to friends and family and would recommend her to anyone needing help with their divorce or custody matter. She made a very difficult time in my life much less painful and even called to see how I was doing after the dissolution was finalized. Thank you so much!
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Posted by anonymous | April 6, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Professional, Supportive, and Knowledgeable of Domestic Violence Intricacies
Cara came highly recommended to me and I am so happy that I hired her to work on my divorce/custody case. Throughout this lengthy and difficult process, she always remained confident and professional. My case involved a long history of domestic violence and Cara guided me through this process in a way to ensure the best outcome for mine and my child's safety. She was devoted to getting my case resolved and in a realistic manner. Cara was always available to discuss my case and to ease my fears and anxiety by always having a plan and being prepared for any circumstance presented by opposing counsel. I am grateful to have had such a great team supporting my case and getting it resolved successfully.
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Posted by David | January 30, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Expert, Confident, Realistic
Cara shows great empathy for your situation without giving unrealistic expectations. She is great at communication and keeping clients informed of the process. She is very fair at time she personally spends on a situation and time she delegates to staff. She is a great advisor and partner for your situation. We could not be any happier in choosing Cara to represent us and highly recommend her.
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Posted by anonymous | March 4, 2015
Excellent Choice for Family Law
I have been involved with Cara for many years as part of an ongoing custody battle. Cara has done a tremendous job representing me. She not only thinks about the specific matter at hand but about the long term implications of decisions coupled with the well being of my child and me. My case is a bit unusual, but Cara has gone above and beyond securing the proper resources and support system to deal with the long term difficulties of the situation. She makes sure I am informed, involved in the decision making process and always keeps budget and quality of life in mind when working together. Cara is extremely responsive and conducts herself professionally always. I'm fortunate to have her representing me and would recommend her to anyone with a need for a family law attorney.
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Posted by Janette | November 27, 2012
Janette Gortz's review
Cara represented me through a very difficult lengthy divorce. There were many challenges along the way. I would call Cara in a panic and by the time I got off the phone, I was confident the matter would be handled. She was my strength when I was not feeling strong. She was supportive when I felt like I couldn't get through it. She is very professional and prepared for any change that arose in court and between. When I needed a restraining order she was on the ball. I can't say enough in support of her skills and knowledge.
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Posted by anonymous | November 26, 2012
Excellent Attorney- Well respected in her field and conducts herself with integrity
Cara does an incredible job. Not only was I confident in her abilities as an attorney, she made herself available to me for emergencies and odd hours when my schedule made it difficult to communicate. She was ALWAYS there when I needed her to be, has excellent relationships with counsel in the area and understood the court system well. She handled my divorce and custody case and navigated some unusual circumstances with strength and finesse. The thing that stands out most about Cara is that she is tough but fair and conducts herself with the utmost integrity. I felt comfortable with her representing me and knew she would conduct herself in a positive way. She always kept my interests foremost in her mind and kept my child's best interests at heart as well. She was mindful of the budget I was working with and made recommendations to me based on what was fair, affordable and realistic. I am so grateful that I found her and that she was by my side during a very difficult time. She is also very compassionate and patient. I would not hesitate to recommend her to anyone or to use her again if needed. I have no doubt that without Cara as my attorney, the outcome of my case could have been vastly different.
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Posted by Christie | November 20, 2012
Simply the Best!
Cara went above and beyond to represent me and my child's best interest in our case. She was level headed, reasonable, understanding, and honest with me about what to expect and how things would probably play out in the end (she was right). She did everything in her power to ensure my child was the main priority and focus on both sides and she was effective in her tactics. I do not have one negative thing to say about Cara or her firm... they were amazing! I would absolutely refer her to my friends and family and I would absolutely hire her again if I ever needed legal assistance.
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Posted by anonymous | November 30, 2011
Cara is a wonderful lawyer who seems to care about you as a person - I truly felt that she cared about the outcome of my divorce and did everything she could to help me. She truly gave my case her all and I could not have gotten through my divorce without her and the other great people at her firm. I would highly recommend Cara Santosuosso to everyone - she is caring, kind and will do everything humanly possible to get a great result for you.
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Posted by Jennifer | December 29, 2009
Prompt and Professional
had a great experience, never had to guess on what was next, always was kept informed and never doughted her intensions
Posted by anonymous | December 23, 2009
Highly recommend
Cara did an excellent job with our case. She is very knowledgeable and understanding. She knows she is seeing people during a very difficult and expensive time and does all she can to offer support and keep costs to a minimum without comprimising your case. The entire staff at the firm are very helpful and kind. Her partner, Eric, helped out as well. Great firm.
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Posted by Anonymous | March 7, 2024
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Disappointing Experience
I hired Ms. Santosuosso to handle my divorce because her firm had experience with handling high-conflict, domestic abuse cases. Unfortunately, I did not feel that she did much to manage the conflict in my divorce, and she let my ex-husband and his far less experienced attorney run the show. She pointed out several times that it was futile to spend much time on my case, as it did not involve much in the way of finances and assets, and she usually handles cases that do -- "I have another client right now who is seeking over $1 million from her husband," she said once. I had to spend a lot of time doing research to document fraud committed by my ex-husband that I was being forced to pay for, which I really felt should have been her responsibility -- she didn't even bother providing the documentation to the court. This made me feel like she did not consider me worth her time, and she was quick to move on from my case. I may not have been seeking millions, but the little amount I was seeking was all I had in the world. Against my wishes, she attempted to seek spousal support, which caused a lot of unnecessary strife (and was pointless, as he was unemployed and would have refused to pay it, anyway). My ex-husband disobeyed several court orders and refused to file any of the required information on his finances, employment, assets, etc. Nothing was done about this, aside from filing one contempt motion which the court just ignored. There were never consequences for my ex-husband's actions or refusal to respond to requests for information. In the end, a settlement was rushed to "get it over with." There were damages my ex-husband had to pay, but he only agreed to a lesser figure, to be paid payments in two installments, with one half due a month after the divorce, and another due 6 months post-divorce. I specifically asked for the payments to be due immediately, knowing he would never pay it under this arrangement, and because I wanted no reason for him to contact me later. For the first payment, he deducted bogus "damages" he concocted, and only paid about half of what was due. He never paid the second payment. He also never returned my personal property, as he agreed to in the settlement. The settlement held my ex-husband responsible for all marital debt, including his unpaid taxes, but I ended up paying all of it because he is good at hiding from the IRS and creditors. Nearly a decade later, I am just now getting out from under all of that. He did all of this to cause trouble, delay things and force me to pay more money to fight him -- and Cara did nothing to put a stop to any of it. She let him and his sloppy attorney bully me, and they blatantly ignored court orders. Cara also did not respond to my requests to take action for the property and payments I never received. Addressing my prediction and concern that this would happen as the case was pending, she advised me to file appeals later, which I did not not want to do -- I wanted zero contact with this person as I worked to rebuild my life from ground zero. I desperately needed a strong, supportive advocate at this stage of my life, but Cara was not that person. I am sure the wisdom of her experience told her not to react to or take action on every little thing my abusive ex-husband did, knowing I had no financial resources to fight any of it -- but she could have at least asked the court to acknowledge some of it and intervene. This contributes to an ineffective justice system, especially for abuse survivors. I see that Cara responds to negative reviews here. I hope she takes what I have said to heart, and that she will be a stronger advocate for women in abusive situations going forward.
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Posted by Kriston | September 24, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Fathers are also parents
Cara was responsive and answered many of my questions. Although, I did feel as if she often defended the opposing counsel denying a father access to his child, and ORC section 3109.042, that claims an unmarried father has no rights to his child. What is the correlation? At our pretrial hearing, she only asked for the minimal, supervised visitation to a child who is not a protected person and did not ask for anything to help me gain insight into my sons life, his welfare, his health, his safety, such as Our family wizard or Talking parents. I spent $3,000 with Cara and she walked in the middle of a custody case. She never cared, and doesn’t seem to understand the bias, and discrimination behind a father not having rights, parenting time, decision making to a child that is genetically and biologically proved to be his. If only Juvenile court reviewed motions for Father rights and a father wanting to meet his child, as quickly as they review attorney withdrawal motions, our society would be a better place. I’m an advocate for 50/50 parenting. I pray this system improves for the next father who wants access to his child, but cannot because he wasn’t married (as if that makes fathers any less of a parent), or for my son that is subject to this same bias and discrimination. These lawyers and courts are taking peoples hard earned money in order for you to have rights and parenting time to your own child. It’s a ripoff and a scam!
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Posted by anonymous | October 9, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Poor performance
Hired Cara, for her so called experience in child custody. I had a slam dunk case, for me to get full custody of both my children. Instead Cara, thought in her best interest, that I get my son, and my ex gets my daughter. Who in their rite mind would do such a hainass act. Also Cara, has a huge ego. It’s her way or the highway. She is very argumentative & sarcastic. If you ask Cara that you want something done, she will do the complete opposite. She was more attentive to secondary things, than our children. Ie family possessions etc. Cara, also will always get your hopes up, as her favorite word is STAY TUNED. I did for 14 months & $ 20,000 later. With ABSOLUTELY no results.
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Response from Cara Santosuosso April 17, 2020
This former client came to me with a complex, multi-state divorce matter already in progress. I am sorry to now hear that he was disappointed by the negotiated settlement to which he agreed. We certainly treated him, as we do all our clients, with the expertise, care and attention his legal matter deserved. I will reach out to him directly, and hope to hear back from him soon.
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Posted by anonymous | October 21, 2012
Poor performance
Hired for divorce which later domestic situation occured. She rarely returned calls in a timely fashion. She was not a person of her word as if when she said she would call back at a certain day or time she did not follow through. She was lackluster in court at best and the sentencing showed this for she was not an advocate for her client. She did not make sure her client understood all that he needed and she made some poor judgementy calls that got him in further trouble. It was a awful experience ...
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Response from Cara Santosuosso May 6, 2016
This review was posted by a relative of a former client, who was not privy to the facts of the case or privileged communications.
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  • Retainer Always
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Attorney
  • Law Offices of Cara L. Santosuosso, LLC
  • 2020 - Present
  • Partner
  • Laubacher & Co.
  • 2008 - 2020
  • Associate
  • Rotatori, Bender, Gragel, Stoper & Alexander Co., LPA
  • 2005 - 2008
  • Judicial Attorney
  • Eighth District, Ohio Court Of Appeals
  • 2003 - 2005
  • Assistant Prosecuting Attorney
  • Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office
  • 1999 - 2003
View all work experience


  • Cleveland State University
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1998
  • John Carroll University
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1995
  • Magnificat High School
  • 1991

Sample of Legal Cases

  • In Re P.L. 2019-Ohio-4681
  • Decision affirmed.
  • Angela Hamper v. Kenneth Dobrski, 2015 -Ohio- 1381 (2015)
  • Judgment Affirmed.
  • Ohio Carpenters' Fringe Benefit Fund v. Krulak, 2008-Ohio-220
View all legal cases


  • Center for Principal Family Advocacy
  • President
  • 2024 - Present
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
  • N/A
  • Justinian Forum
  • N/A
  • West Shore Bar Association
  • N/A
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • SuperLawyer
  • "SuperLawyers®"
  • 2024
  • Super Lawyer
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2023
  • Super Lawyer
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2022
  • Super Lawyer
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2021
  • Super Lawyer
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2020
  • Super Lawyer
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2019
  • Rising Star
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2013
  • Rising Star
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2012
View all awards


Speaking Engagements

  • Legal Ethics: Candor in Evidence, Briefs and Trial Arguments
  • Legal Ethics: Candor in Evidence, Briefs and Trial Arguments
  • 2020
  • Smartphone, Social Media and Email Evidence in Divorce Litigation
  • Legal Ethics: Smartphone, Social Media and Email Evidence
  • 2018
  • Advanced Custody and Support Issues
  • Recent Developments in the Rights of Same Sex and Unmarried Couples: Practical Implications
  • 2017
  • Women in the Law
  • Featured Speaker
  • 2014
  • Advanced Family Law
  • Non-Tradiional Family Structures And Paternity Disputes
  • 2012
  • Your Family Law Practice in the 21st Century
  • Domestic Violence and Civil Protection Orders
  • 2011
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (3)
Given (1)
Endorse Cara
Family Attorney | Mar 31
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Cara's knowledge of the law and sense of justice makes her an incredibly strong advocate. I enjoy working with her and the challenge of being opposing counsel."
Family Attorney | Dec 24
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer's work. Ms. Santosuosso is extreamly knowledgeable in the area of family law. She is a strong advocate for her clients. I have had a number of cases with her and she always impresses me with her ability to manage the case for the benefit of her client."
Litigation Attorney | Dec 23
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Cara is an outstanding lawyer! She is smart, tough and knows the legal community well. I would recommend her to anyone requiring legal representation."
Employment and labor
Westlake Divorce and separation Lawyer Cara Lynn Santosuosso
Cara Lynn Santosuosso
Divorce and separation Attorney
Westlake, OH
Licensed for 25 years
Virtual consultation available