by Diana L. Martinez
Collaborative Lawyer and Mediator, West Coast Law & Mediation, APC
As a family law lawyer, I really look forward to my time on duty to volunteer at Riverside County Superior Court for VSC (Voluntary Settlement Conference) day. It is offered two Fridays per month and is THE most successful mediation program in the nation with an over 90 percent success rate!
Why? Because, in order to be a mediator on this panel, you must have the highest training and qualifications as both a family law lawyer and as a mediator. Not only do we donate our time, we must be in practice at least 10 years and have hundreds of hours of mediation training and practice under our belts. Other family law mediation programs that either do not have a structured program with high mediator qualifications, or that pay retired judges to do this work, enjoy a success rate below 60 percent.
Judges have an incredibly difficult job. It takes very specific skill sets to be a good judge. But being a talented judge does not, in and of itself, make you a good mediator.
I also volunteer as a fee arbitrator in attorney-client fee disputes … Read More
by Leslee J. Newman, CFL-S, Family Law Attorney
1. Self-Representation (“Pro-Per”)
Both parties may consult with attorneys, but decide to represent themselves in or out of court. Both parties are ultimately responsible for the agreements and paperwork that goes to the court for filing including the final Judgment.
2. One-Party Representation
One party is represented by an attorney and the other is not. Generally, the party who has the attorney is responsible for drafting the paperwork, and the unrepresented spouse would get advice as to what he or she wants included in the final Judgment.
3. Both Spouses Have Representation
Both spouses have their own litigation counsel, and try to settle parts of the case through settlement discussion. If they are unable to settle some or all of the issues, the case goes to court for a judge to make the decisions for the spouses.
Both spouses retain the same mediator who acts as their neutral facilitator and does not represent either party. Depending on the style of the mediator, and whether or not the mediator is an attorney, the spouses may have the benefit of being educated as to the law, available options, recommendations, … Read More
by John R. Denny, Family Law Attorney
Hittelman Strunk Law Group, LLP, Newport Beach, California
- The team approach helps you get through the process without going to war.
You will work with a team of legal, financial, and mental health professionals who are specifically trained in the Collaborative Process. They agree to work with you to reach a settlement outside of court.
- You make the decisions, not the judge.
In the Collaborative Process, the parties do not go to court. They resolve their differences through cooperative negotiation. Thus, all orders are made with both parties’ agreement.
- The process is less expensive than a litigated divorce.
While all cases are different, studies show that a successful Collaborative case is less expensive than a litigated case, even one which settles before trial.
- Coaches help you and your spouse learn to communicate in ways which can reduce the adversarial nature of the divorce.
In a full team Collaborative Divorce, each party will work with an assigned mental health professional acting as a coach. Among other things, the coach will assist the party to avoid the type of communication which will further divide the parties, and make settlement more costly and difficult.
… Read More
- Your children’s
New board named to serve 2016-2017 term
August 4, 2016
Contact: Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR
619-997-2495 or firstname.lastname@example.org
(Irvine, California) – Tracy McKenney, CDFA, CFP, has been named President of Collaborative Divorce Solutions of Orange County for the 2016-2017 term. McKenney is a Certified Financial Planner and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst in private practice based in Irvine, California.
Joining McKenney on the 2016-2017 Board of Directors are:
- President-Elect: Therese Fey
- Vice President: Patrice Courteau
- Secretary: Diana L. Martinez
- Treasurer: Leslee Newman
- Advertising and Marketing Chair: Yaffa Balsam
- Membership Chair: Marvin L. Chapman
- Training and Education Chair: Suanne Honey
- Speakers Bureau Co-Chairs: Carol Hughes and Bruce Fredenburg
- Website Chair: Sara E. Milburn
- Member at Large: Jann Glasser
“It is important to me to be involved in an organization like Collaborative Divorce Solutions of Orange County. Collaborative Divorce represents a significant advancement in resolving divorce respectfully,” said McKenney. “Going through a divorce is in some ways harder than dealing with the death of a loved one. It worsens when the process is dragged out through contentious, time-consuming and costly litigation in court. In so many cases, couples can avoid the damage of a court battle, even when they aren’t sure they … Read More
by Brian Don Levy, Esq., Collaborative Practice Attorney & Mediator
Social science research including the United States Census routinely reports that roughly fifty percent or more of all marriages end in divorce. Co-habitating relationships fail at similar rates. We expect same sex marriages to follow the same pattern statistically once enough time passes to gather the data over the next decade as well. Psychology Today reports that in 1990, fewer than one in 10 persons who got divorced was over the age of 50, while today one in four people getting divorced is 50 or older.
Since a certain amount of divorce is statistically inevitable, it is imperative we find better ways to facilitate the legal, financial, and emotional processing of a human experience through our civil systems. The emotional devastation that often occurs with the breakup of a relationship shouldn’t be a given. This is where Collaborative Practice lives.
Despite the jokes and eye-rolling over the term “conscious uncoupling,” actress Gwenyth Paltrow put her finger on a healthy modern attitude embodied within Collaborative Practice. Collaborative Practice is the process that provides a more respectful alternative to the destructive divorces we see too often when parties use the court … Read More