Practice Area

Divorce and Dissolutions

Divorce is one of three types of marital actions (legal separation and nullity being the other two), and is initiated by filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. It is not necessary to hire a lawyer to represent you in a divorce, and many people do proceed in propria persona (latin for "for oneself"; pro per for short). You can visit the California Superior Court's website for general instructions on filing for divorce. However, consulting with an attorney may be necessary to advise you of your community property, child custody, and support rights.

During our consultations, we first explore the possibility of the parties reconciling the marital relationship. If reconciliation is not a possibility, then we work with the client to develop a strategy for achieving their goals through the dissolution of marriage process. The time and cost of a divorce is never certain, and is dependent on the complexity of the case and reasonableness of the parties.

The following are some of the services we offer relating to Divorce:

  • Review of Alternatives to Effect a Win-Win Settlement: Consultation of the alternatives available to you in handling your divorce situation so that you can weigh out the pros and cons of each alternative and prioritize the alternative best for you and your spouse to effect a win-win settlement for both of you and all of the people who are impacted by your decisions.
  • Reconciliation Expectation Agreement: Breach of expectations is the 99% cause of divorce. We work with you to craft an agreement of compromises to ensure your expectations are not breached during the marriage, or, if there is a slip, that the obligation to cure the breach is on the breaching party instead of the aggrieved party.
  • Reconciliation Postnuptial Agreement: Clearing up, settling, or clarifying property and support issues which have interfered with the marriage (breach of expectations of one or both of the spouses).
  • Seeing Best Interests of Children: Understanding the needs of each child for each parent, understanding the attributes and limitations of each parent, and seeing what is in the best interests for each child.
  • Do-It-Yourself Representation: Receive tools of the law/culture + communication skills to effect a win-win settlement.
  • 3-Way Mediation: One mediator for two parties without attorneys; if parties reach a tentative consensus, a written agreement is prepared for each party to take to an attorney for approval.
  • 4-Way Co-Mediation: Two mediators (male and female) to support either party's concern regarding gender equilibrium.
  • Collaborative Settlement Process: How to effect both a short term and long term win-win with the help and support of appropriate professionals.
  • Traditional Representation 5-Way Mediation: Two parties, two attorneys, one mediator; Discovery and Representation of you and your rights relating to property, support, and child custody before the mediator, and making proposals for settlement.
  • Traditional Representation for Arbitration, Private Judge, or Court Determination: Discovery and Representation of you and your rights relating to property, support, and child custody. If you are forced to litigate your case, Absence of Mistakes is the key to successful litigation to prove the truth. After weighing the cost of the risk and benefit of going forward with litigation, financial planning is necessary on how to fund litigation. Then we must regularly reassess that the benefit is substantially more than the cost, while constantly seeking a positive settlement.
  • Pension - Qualified Domestic Relations Orders: Protect each party's rights in pension or other deferred compensation plans, including elections and survivor benefits.
  • Stock Options - Option Vesting and Exercise Agreements: Protect each party's rights in any stock option grant and set up procedure for vesting, notices, and exercise of each party's options.