Resolving family law matters with compassion and dignity

Family law lawyers are usually first trained as litigators and the competent ones generally know their way around a family law courtroom.  Litigators are taught that they cannot effectively represent their plaintiffs unless they have objectively verifiable evidence of the bona fides of the other side’s case.  The way a litigator is trained to obtain such evidence is through the litigation process known as “discovery”.

Discovery is where the other side in the litigation must answer questions, either written or through oral deposition, provide documentation requested of them and fully disclose the entirety of their financial position.  Discovery is conducted under oath and is enforceable under penalty of perjury.

Reviewing the California Judicial Council disclosure forms that one must share in the process of dissolution reveals just how important it is that the spouses  embrace their burden as fiduciary’s to one another and provides absolute financial transparency.

The fact of the matter is, however, that most married couples are acutely aware of the earnings and expenses of their spouse.  Which necessarily raises the question, why pay two professionals to “discover” that which you already know?

There is an option to engaging in litigation with your spouse.  Choosing this option will allow all of the impacted parties including children, grandparents, friends, and extended family members to better manage their personal experience of your divorce.  The smart option to litigation is also a cheaper, faster better way to manage family legal matters.  The recommended option is mediation.

In mediation you and your spouse meet together with a mediator who is a trained expert in interpersonal communication who supports your conversation and helps develop areas of agreement. The parties to the dispute will find the process much more dignified then engaging in a lawsuit.  Mediation allows the participants to more clearly learn the other side’s position and together find a more compassionate resolution to their disputes.

Today many San Francisco family law attorneys are immediately steering their clients towards mediation with their soon to be ex-spouse.  Indeed, family law lawyers around the entire San Francisco Bay Area and all of California are awakening to the benefits of early Family Law mediations.

A San Francisco family law lawyer confides that where there is good faith and integrity between the divorcing parties, they really don’t need two lawyers representing them, they just need to sit down with a neutral professional who will guide them to the critical issues, help them properly and effectively memorialize their agreement and navigate their case through the courts to judgment.

Of course, there are the rare cases where one of the spouses is an international financier and has used an elaborate and sophisticated subterfuge to hide millions in Switzerland or the Cayman Islands, but that is an unusual situation indeed.   Most married couples looking to dissolve their marriage knows where the money came from, how much there is and where it goes.  What is more, the majority of couples are not looking to fight or punish their soon to be former spouse.  They still have, if not outright affection, good faith and compassion towards their partner and wish to disengage on the best terms possible.  Clearly the best way to accomplish resolving family law matters with compassion, integrity and dignity is to engage the services of a professional divorce mediator.

David D. Stein is a San Francisco Family Law Attorney now specializing in Divorce Mediation and associated with Liaise Divorce Solutions, a mediation service with competent family law lawyers specializing in marital reorganization and dissolution proceedings.
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