My professional mission is threefold and is:
First, to use my legal expertise gained over the last 20 years as a divorce attorney and mediator to help make complex California divorces more efficient, affordable, kinder and easier than they could otherwise 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 – the intersection of love and the law℠.
I accomplish these three missions by providing divorce mediation and other legal services that are:
Progressive. I give legal, pragmatic and practical advice peppered with the wisdom of contemplative philosophies and breakthroughs in neuroscience. In divorce mediation I delve into the intricacies of your life, explain applicable legal principles and procedures and help you and your spouse find mutually acceptable and practical agreements.
Innovative. My divorce and marriage mediations, legal strategies and luxury divorce retreats are unprecedented. They are intentionally designed to enable you to use my divorce insider’s information to avoid your worst fears and achieve your desired outcomes. I know there are easier, quicker, kinder and smarter ways to navigate the divorce process and I want you to know what they are and use them. I also know many of the reasons that marriages fail and created my prenuptial inquiry process to help men and women discuss important partnership issues, clearly set their intentions and expectations and avoid common mistakes that can lead to divorce.
Practical, comprehensive and laser focused. I parse and synthesize complex and detailed information quickly, identify and explain options that may be best suited to your particular circumstances and give you step-by-step instructions for determining which solutions are practical and viable.
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