My personal and professional mission is threefold.
First, to use my legal expertise gained over the last 20 years as a divorce attorney and mediator to help make your complex California divorce more efficient, affordable and ultimately, easier than it could be.
Second, to help build stronger marriages that survive and thrive over time.
Third, to help reduce suffering in this world from a place I know well, at the intersection of love and the law℠ – marriage and divorce.
I have personally and professionally traversed the terrain of marriage and divorce for 23 years, which has led me, the experienced divorce attorney and mediator, to learn how you, a marrying or divorcing man or woman, may be able to make this leg of your journey easier and your life happier.
How does this translate into my work? It means, among other things that, my services are…
Progressive - they include legal, pragmatic and practical advice peppered with contemplative philosophies and neuroscience lessons*
Innovative - they give you the opportunity to use experienced complex California divorce attorney to make your divorce easier, even if it is contentious, or your marriage stronger.
Practical, comprehensive and laser focused – they are designed to help you discover exactly what you need to know and can do now in light of your personal and very unique circumstances.
How did I get here?
I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at 21 and a law degree at 24. I opened my first law firm at 25 and, thanks to a talented marketing pro, I was a household name by the time I was 26. My practice areas included divorce, bankruptcy, child protective services, estate planning, and real estate sales and development. My early years as a solopreneur taught me much about business, life and law.
In 2002, I joined Bley and Bley, a complex family law litigation firm in San Francisco. I worked with some of the best family law trial attorneys, appellate attorneys, private judges and mediators in California. Our specialty and expertise was complex family law. I spent my days at court, preparing for court, mediating issues to avoid going to court, and settling out of court in San Francisco, Marin, and the surrounding counties (as far north as Napa and South to Modesto). In 2005, I set out on my own again as an attorney and mediator in Marin County and wrote The Soul Centered Divorce, How to Make Difficult Divorce Decisions with Confidence and Clarity.
I am a member of the State Bar of California and the Hawaii State Bar Association. I am also a mediator for the Sonoma Superior Court No-Fee Mediation panel, and an 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 for a number of years.
I completed my 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. My mediation training was done 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.
I have litigated, negotiated, mediated and settled these and other California family law issues:
- 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