Welcome! My name is Helene L. Taylor.
I am a former California family law trial attorney who personally helped over 1000 people get married, divorced, separated or dissolve domestic partnerships since becoming an attorney in 1994 and resolving my divorce in 1991.
My official biography below details my business and legal educations, California and Hawaii law licenses and 20 years of experience but ultimately I am a kind, intelligent, intuitive, innovative and persistent person whose mission is to help smart, successful, conscious men and women resolve their divorce issues and move through the California legal system with as much ease, efficiency and kindness that is possible in light of their circumstances.
I love my work and align my programs and practices with my values.
I offer my services for a fraction of my competitive hourly billable rate ($400) so more people can use and benefit from my knowledge about and experience within the family law system. Some accuse me of being a socialist or bleeding heart but most are grateful for my accessibility and flexibility.
I play unique roles in my clients’ divorces.
Instead of becoming attorney of record or mediator I serve as a high-level close at hand analyst, strategist and advisor who, like a coach, gives advice and makes tactical suggestions from the sidelines and between innings to help my clients negotiate marital settlement agreements, participate in mediation, prepare for court appearances, work with divorce teams and manage their divorce processes.
I remove a lot of the anxiety provoking uncertainty that people face during divorce because they know next to nothing about it, weren’t expecting it and have to deal with it now while continuing to function at peak performance in every other area of their lives, most particularly as breadwinners and/or care takers.
I am a passionate proponent of prenuptial agreements because they have the potential to reduce divorce rates and strengthen marriages if used correctly. I discuss the promise of the prenuptial agreement regularly on my blog and in interviews.
I graduated from Seabury Hall in 1986, pursued and obtained a Bachelor’s in Business Administration in 1990 and a Juris Doctorate (law degree) in 1993 at age 24.
I took and passed two bar exams and became licensed in Hawaii in 1994 (after 7 months abroad) and California in 2001.
I am a member of the State Bar of California and the Hawaii State Bar Association. I also am a former mediator for the Sonoma Superior Court No-Fee Mediation panel and instructor for the San Francisco Community Boards’ mediators.
I served as a bar exam grader on the State Bar of California Committee of Bar Examiners from 2002 through 2004.
In 2002 completed negotiation training under Roger Fisher, the director of The Harvard Negotiation Project and co-author of Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, Getting Ready to Negotiate and Beyond Reason: Using Emotions as You Negotiate.
In 2010 I participated in a mediation training program with Gary Friedman, author of Challenging Conflict: Mediation Through Understanding and A Guide to Divorce Mediation: How to Reach a Fair, Legal Settlement at a Fraction of the Cost.
Over the last 20 years I litigated, negotiated, mediated, settled and coached men and women on these California family law issues and many more.
- Joinder of Parties
- Valid Marriages
- Fraud (set asides)
- Attorney Fees and costs
- Date of legal separation trials
- Property rights during marriage
- Prenuptial Agreements (reviews, enforcement, challenges, interpretations)
- Postnuptial Agreements
- Child custody (establishing and/or modifying legal custody, physical custody visitation rights [including grandparent step-parent issues])
- Child support (establishing, modifying, enforcing; expedited [ex parte] orders, temporary [pendente lite] support, arrears; guideline challenges relating to high-income earners; waivers; life insurance; deferred sales of homes)
- Spousal support (establishing, modifying, terminating, expedited [ex parte] orders; temporary [pendente lite] support; long-term support; health insurance; earnings assignment orders; taxation; marital standard of living analysis; Gavron orders; life insurance)
- Property characterization (transmutations; tracings)
- Property valuation (personal property, businesses, real property)
- Division of Property (businesses [sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, LLCs]; stocks, mutual funds, bonds, etc.; stock options; reimbursements; retirement plan benefits, pensions, IRAs, 401ks, etc.; real estate [commercial, residential])
- Debts and Liabilities (credit cards; secured and unsecured personal loans; mortgages, equity loans, lines of credit, foreclosure judgments, civil judgments, business loans, medical debts, student loans)
- Trusts including those with spendthrift, discretionary, and support provision
My clients describe me as compassionate, brilliant and a “rock star”.
If you’re ready to make your divorce easier lets begin by determining if my one-on-one California divorce coaching, California divorce consulting or classes are a great fit based on your needs and budget.