We offer full-service and limited scope representation in the following areas:
- Divorce (Dissolution)
- Legal Separation
- California Domestic Partnerships
- Asset Location and Division
- Custody Orders and Modifications, Including Parent Move-aways
- Child Support Orders and Modifications for both Payors and Payees
- Spousal Support Orders and Modifications
- Drafting Pre-Nuptial and Post-Nuptial Agreements
- Drafting Parenting Plans and Custody Agreements
- Collaborative Divorce is a client-centric and structured dispute resolution process designed to keep parties out of court. The Santa Cruz Collaborative Practice Group consists of specially trained and certified professionals who work in close conjunction to help clients find the best solutions possible. In a collaborative case a team will be assembled based on the participants’ needs and can include attorneys, communications coaches and child specialists (both roles are filled by mental health specialists), financial experts, and other professionals as needed. More information on Collaborative Divorce can be found at:
- Mediation involves both parties hiring a neutral mediator to assist parties in negotiating a fair and balanced outcome. Family law mediation can offer several advantages including staying out of court, reduced legal fees and less stress. If children are involved, mediation helps set a tone of cooperation that is essential for successful co-parenting after two parents split up.
- Because mediation is voluntary and cooperative, there are unique opportunities to work together in creating solutions. For example, spouses may agree on alternative ways of satisfying child and spousal support obligations. Or, by agreeing on how assets are divided, spouses may be able to reduce their overall tax bill.
- Mediation works because the parties are ready to make it work. Mediation can help you achieve a fair and balanced outcome without the expense, time and stress of going through the court process.
LIMITED SCOPE REPRESENTATION
Legal services are also available on a "limited scope" or "unbundled" basis. This can be in the form of a "consulting attorney" who offers advice and guidance to a client as they participate in mediation with an outside mediator. It can also be a cost-effective solution for clients who need assistance navigating the legal process. For example, we can provide legal advice for your situation, help you in completing and filing the correct forms, and use our computer software to properly calculate support payments. We can even coach you on appearing in court and give you strategy tips to successfully argue your case.
Not all cases are appropriate for limited scope representation. However, limited scope representation has been expressly recognized by the California Bar Association and can offer clients a powerful and cost effective tool to successfully resolve their cases.
GOING TO COURT
Every case is different and sometimes going to court is your best option.
California law requires all parties with custody issues to first attend mediation with a court appointed mediator. This is an essential step in the legal process, even if you do ultimately end up litigating certain issues. Having an attorney who thoroughly understands both processes is more important than ever.
Likewise, property issues may need to be heard in court to ensure a fair division that comports with California's complex and constantly evolving community property laws.
Regardless of the issue, we will take the time to demystify the legal process and give you a good idea of what to expect. We will explain each step, help you feel prepared, and, most of all, develop a strategy to succeed.
Many clients discover that going to court is not nearly as bad as they expected. The court process offers several advantages including a structured environment, clear outcomes and strong enforcement mechanisms—all of which can help move difficult cases in the right direction.