A New Vision For Divorce In Sonoma County
Anyone who has experienced significant marital crisis can understand that even if it has come to a decision to end the marriage, the last thing anyone wants or needs is an enhancement of adversarial posturing that will serve only to exacerbate an already emotionally fragile and frightening situation. And yet our legal system is designed to perform within these exact structures of Parties confronting one another before a Court, traditionally with hired counsel, to prevail, one over the other. Given this understanding, two immediate questions arise: First, do clients always need to hire counsel to conduct a divorce? And second, must the Parties posture as adversaries to process a divorce? The answer to both questions is of course, “no.”
This revelation prompted me to create an alternative model for the divorce that is governed by a vision for ending a marriage with cooperation, dignity, respect, and understanding that would serve as a process to end the polarizing format that has been the typical structure for routine marital dissolution. The result of that vision is the GO Divorce Clinic in Sonoma County.
The crucible that forms GO Divorce Clinic’s success is that we assist both Parties to co-create their own settlement agreement, and we move that agreement forward through the Court system in an uncontested posture, mitigating a conventional need for attorney representation. This model is not a mediation format because entrenched positions rarely arise within this process. At no time during the process do the Parties need to go to hearing or present before Sonoma County Family law Court any issues regarding the marital estate that are unresolved. This approach stabilizes the potential for emotional volatility because the focus is always on accord, and not the “prevailing party” mentality that produces a loser or a victim as part of the collateral damage inherent in legal victory. Safety mitigates emotional volatility; it is a simple equation.
Children of Divorce
The attention given to children of divorce presents another aspect of the process of traditional marriage dissolution that is in need of more skillful oversight and care. Unfortunately the family courts are typically overwhelmed with a volume of caseloads well in excess of what they can reasonably manage, and the judges
themselves are simply often not familiar with the current research in child development that would be the cornerstone for any sound child advocacy review in the cases put before them involving minor children. In most instances of traditionally disputed divorce cases, the emotional issues of the children will get lost, ultimately buried under the scope and velocity of the flailing pain bodies exhibited by the separating parents.
Child Advocacy For Divorce In Santa Rosa, CA.
I have a strong focus and training in child advocacy, child development, and the interviewing of children (ages 8-18 for interviewing). At GO Divorce Clinic of Sonoma County I provide for the space and review of healthy child advocacy considerations by first taking note of the parents ability to cooperate in the co-parenting and custody agreement phase of the process. If the parents display a mutual desire to put the children first in spite of the personal pain they are experiencing, and represent that value with concrete demonstrations of solidarity and accord around child custody and support issues, I make the assumption that the parents ability to remain present and aware of their children’s needs has not been significantly compromised, and proceed with the drafting of the settlement agreement.
If however the parents exhibit erratic, volatile, and significantly uncooperative behavior around family planning, custody and support that provides for the well being of the children I am given pause. In such cases clients can demonstrate a lack of boundary setting around unhealthy behavior that puts the children at risk to unnecessary exposure to complex adult emotions that may be seeking the child’s support or emotional solidarity. Here I will intervene by requesting of those parents that I have permission to interview any minor children 8 years of age or over. If the parents do not consent to the request for interview, I will interrupt the dissolution process that is being facilitated through my office to refer them to a qualified mental health professional. I will agree to resume the process when a licensed mental health professional can provide reasonable assurance to me that in their opinion the welfare of the children is not at risk.
It is rare that my cases are this extreme, and in such instances the clients most often agree to me interviewing the children, and upon completion of those interviews I can fold into the family planning all considerations of the pertinent needs of the children that I have discovered in my interviewing of them – and often include provisions in the settlement agreement that directly and specifically protect the children by providing specific measures that will hopefully assist in insulating them from further toxic and damaging behavior.
Most all my clients experience a relatively smooth process of marriage dissolution through my office, and child interview measures are rarely required, but I feel it is essential to have those structures in place if needed. I rely on a referral base of competent and skillful para- professionals (financial, legal, and mental health) to augment my ability to field my client’s needs. I encourage any M.F.T’s in Sonoma County who may resonate with the approach of the GO Divorce Clinic to contact me at www.GoDivorceClinic.com and set up an occasion to meet and get together.
Consider that in a situation as intense as a marital crisis, teetering on the brink of divorce, where so many issues of great import are at hand, there is traditionally no one place for couples to go that can effectively field ALL of the needs associated with a possible divorce, or marriage reconciliation. I feel that it is as sad as it is fascinating. This feeling is what drove me to create the Go Divorce Clinic in Sonoma County, California. Divorce in Santa Rosa, the counties largest city, is like in most areas across the country, very prevalent. I have no problem staying busy, even in this economy. People come to my Clinic a lot by personal referral. They come because GO Divorce made a positive impact on someone’s life, at a time that was critically important to them. And even though I offer probably the least expensive and most comprehensive uncontested divorce in Santa Rosa, CA. and Sonoma County, no one ever recommends me only because they saved a lot of money. Even though Go Divorce is unique in many ways, even more affordable than divorce mediation, people come to me because they have heard I can be trusted, that I know how to execute an uncontested divorce, and that I sincerely care about my clients and their families. I feel it is a privilege to shed light and wisdom on a subject like divorce that exists in our community as if it is hiding in some kind of cultural closet. Divorce, or the threat of it, is a powerful event, and yet one that can also afford great opportunity for profound positive change. I like to say that the “GO” in GO Divorce Clinic is an acronym that represents just that, a “Great Opportunity”. Seeing through dark challenges to the potentially illuminating possibilities waiting on the other side of a healthy divorce process, helping my client’s through to the next chapter of life, is an important service to the culture. I hope in my own way, to make that kind of difference, and participate in life with the kind of contribution that sheds light where few speak openly about. You, or anyone you love facing divorce deserve better, healthier, sensible and affordable divorce services than the traditional cut-throat approach of contested divorce. Call the innovative offices of Go Divorce Clinic today, to learn about the new way that divorce is being handled and processed, or visit www.GoDivorceClinic.com .