About me and my purpose

Purpose is the place where your deep gladness meets the world’s needs.” Frederick Buechner

My deep gladness comes from helping those in need. It meets the world’s needs in the realm of divorce.

It may seem like a strange union, gladness and divorce, but I hope, not for long.

Divorce is part of our lives yet the process is so archaic, toxic and destructive. But it doesn’t have to be.

As a society we have the tools and resources to forge another pathway. A path that conscious men and women may take to end their relationships as husband and wife with integrity, mindfulness and care. On this path, which I am helping to pave, divorce is simply the legal process for severing a marriage contract. It is not a nuclear bomb that annihilates and contaminates. It is just one of many chapters in a person’s life.

Hello, my name is Helene L. Taylor.

Over the last twenty years I worked as a complex California family law trial attorney and mediator and Hawaii family law, real estate and estate planning attorney. During my practice I saw many horror stories unfold and invaluable resources depleted.

I saw men and women do terrible things to each other in fits of rage and upset. Some spent millions in attempts to avoid giving anything to their spouses of ten, twenty or thirty years. Others falsified checks, depleted assets and used estate planning attorneys in an effort to evade support obligations.

Even though I saw it everyday in the San Francisco bay area courtrooms and law offices, it never ceased to amaze me. How two people who once pledged undying love and devotion were hellbent and committed on making their spouse’s life as miserable as possible. At no expense spared.

I understood many of the reasons – betrayal, deceit – and the ire they could elicit. It was the reverberating effects of the battles I hated to stomach. As a humanitarian, I didn’t like to see people suffer directly or indirectly. As an environmentalist, I couldn’t stand the waste. As a person of integrity, I hated to see people behaving badly. As an analytical pragmatist, making something straightforward so complicated made no sense. And as a student of Buddhism and Taoism, I knew there was a better way.

So with my hard found wisdom and divorce expertise, I set out on my unique mission to help smart, successful men and women of integrity.

Today I use everything I know about love, life and the law to make the legal and practical divorce process easier, more efficient and much kinder. I share my work through my writing, teaching and one-on-one work with men and women getting divorced in California. If I may be of service in your divorce, please contact me.

A bit about my professional history.

I attended Seabury Hall College Preparatory Academy in Makawao, Maui, Hawaii and four years later at the age of twenty one I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at the age of  law degree at age twenty four.

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 initially included divorce, bankruptcy, child protective services, estate planning, construction defect litigation, worker’s compensation appeals and real estate sales and development. The variety of issues I handled gave me a diverse education that still proves helpful to my client’s today.

My early years as a solopreneur taught me much about business, life and law.

In 2002, I joined a renowned complex family law litigation firm in San Francisco and worked with some of the best family law trial attorneys, appellate attorneys, private judges, Commissioners, forensic experts, realtors and mediators in California – yes, some of the best in the state. Our specialty was taking complex family law issues to trial. This meant I spent my days at court, preparing for court, mediating issues to avoid going to court, settling out of court and you name it. We did this in San Francisco, Marin, and the surrounding counties (as far north as Napa, far South to Modesto and east to Contra Costa County).

In 2005 with a plan to divulge everything I had learned about divorce to as many people as I could, I set out on my own again 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, but my legal services are limited while my coaching services are prioritized. I also am 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, which was a great experience to learn what it takes and how to become a licensed attorney in California. I 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. 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, settled and coached men and women on these, and many other California family law issues.

  • Jurisdiction
  • Joinder of Parties
  • Valid Marriages
  • Fraud (set asides)
  • Attorney Fees and costs
  • Date of legal separation trials
  • Property rights during marriage
  • Discovery
  • 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 would like to work with me and live in California, I would love to learn more about you. Please visit this page and complete the confidential questionnaire.

I look forward to connecting with you.