Court Related Divorce – How it Works

Private Mediation

The effects of divorce on children have been well documented. But did you know there’s a way to significantly improve your children’s passage through this difficult transition? Research shows the biggest indicator of children’s resilience is the absence of conflict between divorcing parents. As a private mediator, my goal is to guide you to a peaceful resolution of your differences, while helping you manage your negative feelings. During our sessions, I will work with both of you to solidify your co-parenting relationship while creating a Parenting Plan, a blueprint of your children’s care and custody. I’ll help you create this important document by helping you think through your various options while you take into account your children’s developmental needs. In Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, you may opt for either recommending or non-recommending mediation. As your recommending mediator, I will work with you to craft a custodial agreement for your children. This official report will be submitted to the court, thereby officially recognizing the agreements you have reached. However, if, despite our best attempts at resolution, you are not able to come to an agreement on all points, I will document the agreements you have made and make recommendations to the court regarding the outstanding custody and care arrangements that would further your child’s best interests, while taking the circumstances of each parent into consideration.

Co-parenting Therapy

Do you find yourself going back to court over the most basic decisions about your kids? Sometimes negative feelings can make conversations with your ex-spouse feel overwhelming–like deciding how your children spend the holidays. After a divorce, you often have to make some of the most important decisions about your children while you’re at your most vulnerable. Your marital union may be officially over, but if you’ve had children, you’re still bound together for life. People sometimes believe that getting a divorce relieves them of the difficulty they feel in dealing with the other parent. In truth, when you have children in common, you will be parenting together for many years to come. We often find that the issues that made parenting together difficult during the marriage are the same issues that make co-parenting a challenge. Co-parenting therapy is often done in conjunction with being in court. It can help you manage your anger, sadness, and fear. I’ll help you find your footing with each other so you can both focus on what’s best for your children.

Special Master

When custody disputes go on for years, they take a heavy emotional toll on children and parents alike. These complex cases often lead the courts to require couples to engage the assistance of a Special Master whose expert opinion furthers the child’s best interests during parental disputes. In this quasi-legal role, I’ll help you reduce your conflict and discover a positive co-parenting solution. I’ll work with you to develop better alternatives to the situations you find yourself in. When necessary, I’ll also make recommendations to the court, As a Special Master, my roles include:

  • Detective. Each situation has many different perspectives. It’s my job to understand the whole story and appreciate the implications for your children.
  • Educator. I try to help parents understand how to share their children. We’ll focus on understanding your child’s developmental needs, resolving problems and coming up with effective ways of moving on.
  • Mental Health Professional. I try to understand your feelings and attitudes about your experiences. I also explore how your children feel about their experiences.
  • Evaluator. If necessary, I’ll share my opinions with the court. These official, impartial recommendations may help influence the custody arrangements.
  • Child Advocate. Your children’s needs will always be my first priority.