Useful Information for Those Considering Divorce

1. Do you offer a complimentary consultation?
We offer a short—up to 15-minute—phone consultation.

2. If I’m considering a divorce/dissolution, what are the initial steps I should take to protect myself?
Begin gathering documents, such as bank statements, bills, mortgage papers, loan documents and tax returns (both personal and business, if there is a business involved). You should consider separating your finances, including canceling joint credit cards and bank accounts and establishing accounts in your name only. You should also consider whether you will need to make revisions in your will or estate plan—or make plans to develop a will or estate plan if you don’t have one.

3. What are the relative costs among Litigation, Mediation and a Collaborative Practice Approach?
Although there are no hard statistics, the litigated dissolution, especially in the context of a high-conflict property or custody situation, is approximately 10 times more expensive than a dissolution completed though Mediation or through the Collaborative Practice Approach.

4. How long does it take for a divorce/dissolution to become final in California?
The quickest a marriage can be legally dissolved is six months and one day after the divorce petition is filed and served on the other party. Typically, Litigation takes the longest. Both the Mediation and Collaborative Practice Approach lead to a quicker resolution. You and your spouse/partner set the pace.

5. If I want a legal separation instead of a divorce, do I still need an attorney?
A legal separation involves the same process as a divorce. This is a preferred option for some couples, for example, those who want to keep a spouse on a health insurance policy. However, spouses who are not divorced are not able to remarry.

6. Do you offer referrals for services I might need, such as an accountant, financial planner, family therapists and support groups?
Where appropriate, we involve forensic accountants in the proceedings. We also provide referrals to family therapists as well as divorce support groups if requested.