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Can A Paralegal Do My Divorce?

November 9, 2013

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A little over 30 years ago the State of California created a sanctioned designation of ‘Legal Document Assistant’. These were individuals with legitimate paralegal training and credentialing who could assist, without any lawyer required, self-represented people who were needing to utilize the Court system, or negotiate their way through it without having to pay a lawyer.   These L.D.A’s needed to be properly trained and registered in the County they did business out of.  They also needed to be bonded.  Today there are thousands of LDA’s across the country assisting self represented individuals move their cases through the court system without lawyers.

Of course, like any other profession, there are skilled practitioner’s and not so skilled ones.  At Go Divorce Clinic, it’s founder Robert Revel is a credentialed paralegal and mediator cum L.D.A. who’s business model specializes only in divorce.  The unique business focus allows Go Divorce Clinic to provide what many see as not only the most affordable, but also the best divorce service available, bar none.  It provides divorcing couples information and help along with competent document preparation.  “It’s fast, easy, affordable and a better process than any other divorce model out there – including lawyer assisted divorce”, says founder Robert Revel.  He recalls the existing confusion out there around paralegals and divorce:

“Many times a client will come into my office claiming that they had their previous marriage ‘done by a paralegal’.  The statement always makes me cringe a bit, as I wondered just who it was exactly that did their divorce!  You see, most everyone assumes that a ‘paralegal’ divorce is a legitimate alternative to a family law lawyer.  The fact is that by law no ‘paralegal’ can perform any legal document preparation work directly for clients unless those paralegals are working under the direct supervision of an attorney!   So either the clients that referred to divorce paralegals were confused about who they had hired, or the person who ‘assisted’ them was not legitimate and was operating illegally.  That is a scary thing to realize when you are considering something as important as when you need someone to help you with your divorce”.  Robert Revel should know, he has been in the family law trenches with his new model of self-help divorce that is taking over the bay area and northern California by storm.

While many family law attorneys seem very adept at drawing out divorces, making them drag on and on, Revel focuses on the quickest resolution possible, and he is top in his field at getting couples to a reasonable agreement.  “If I can’t get a divorce resolved in under 4 hours of mediation, I’d say it can’t be resolved outside of the courtroom”, he testifies.

Before founding Go Divorce Clinic, his successful mediation practiced evolved to retain quite a celebrated reputation.  His secret?  “I credit Dr. Marshal Rosenberg’s Non Violent Communication model a lot.  I also never caucused (isolated talk with either party away from earshot of the other party) in my mediations, even though they taught that at the University, because I saw it bred distrust and suspicion at the conference table.  I could see caucusing was utilized by mediators who could not handle high conflict clients, but there was always a price to pay for using it”.

Revel’s most radical mediation technique was one that led him to found the Go Divorce Clinic – he keeps lawyers out of the mediation chamber.  He cites two important reasons:  “First of all I could see that the attorney presence was more often than not toxic.  They poisoned the pool every time I managed to get goodwill to build momentum between the disputing parties.  It was almost as if the lawyers were uncomfortable with the Parties shedding the adversarial posturing.   Second I knew to make progress I needed to be the only authority in the room because unlike the lawyers, I was truly neutral and truly safe.  The lawyers wanted to run the show, and too many chiefs, as the saying goes… is not a good thing”.

Today Revel continues his razing of divorce protocols in family law.

“I’m an innovator at heart.  There are personal reasons why I chose to target family law for for a major overhaul.  But one thing I know, the field is changing not merely because Go Divorce Clinic is providing a healthier way to take care of divorcing couples, but because so many people are affirming our business model now.  Our market share is so much now that the family law lawyers have to stop and look at what we are doing right, and hopefully they will begin adopting some of our protocols.  I see it as a dance between client and service provider that is nodding to the most basic tenants of supply and demand.  Meet the actual needs of the client, perform ethically, and you will eventually dominate your market niche.  In this case dominating means we get to reach more families who can ill afford the typical bitterness, resource depletion, and utter exhaustion that accompanies traditional contested divorce with lawyers”.

If you would like to learn more about Robert Revel and the Go Divorce Clinic you can visit:  www.GoDivorceClinic.com

 

The Best Way To Get A Divorce

October 9, 2013

Divorce CoachAmid the mass of confusion, misinformation and fear surrounding divorce and the divorce process, my clients are always appreciative of the clarity they gain after meeting with me, and maybe even more important is the relief the couple feels individually when they know they have found someone that can process their divorce that both of them trust.  This latter point is in fact one of the qualities that sets my business apart from any typical practitioners in the field of family law.  Divorce attorneys, paralegals and legal document assistants tend not to have any training, education or experience around high conflict resolution.  Simply spouting out legal strategies or pushing legal documents into the hands of clients will not even begin to address the core needs of a divorcing couple.   Go Divorce Clinic of Sonoma County understands the actual needs of clients moving through a divorce transition, and that is in fact the hallmark of our vision, and it is also the reason why we are so successful.  What is it exactly we understand that most divorce practitioners do not?  I like to use the sports analogy when talking about how we take care of divorcing couples.

Ever wonder why a sports team needs a coach on game day?  Whats is the point of having a coach there during games when you consider that the players are the ones on the court or field of play?  The team has practiced all week, they know how to play the game, so really why do they need a coach on the sidelines?  The simple answer is because human beings tend to need oversight and guidance when it comes to highly stressful activities that require cooperation to perform.  They need someone who sees the “big picture” who knows what the overall plan is.  They need someone who knows the game, but also knows the players and is able to keep them all working together.  Because sometimes one player will get an attitude and want to be the “star”, and not work well with the rest of the team and the coach can “level the playing field” and straighten the attitude out.  Sometimes one player may get their confidence shaken while playing and the coach can bolster them up and get them back in the game.  Sometimes the players get overwhelmed and the coach calls a timeout and gets them re-directed and back on track.  The key is a coach is there for the entire team, for each player.  A coach understand that everyone is needed and is equally as valuable to the process of accomplishing the goal.  At Go Divorce Clinic we know how to value and respect each client in the process so that we can help them work together, even if there are interpersonal tensions, just like on a sports team.

Can you imagine if rather than the head coach at each game, there were instead the agents that represent each professional athlete of the team sitting on the bench directing the game?  How could those teams even function with each agent wanting their own client/player to “score more”, “get more playing time”, “set higher records”, “get the ball more often”, “not get called on by the refs for fouls” etc.  There would be all these different athlete agents screaming out on to the court or field, only things that would make their own clients look best.  Can you imagine the chaos?  How could a team ever work as one unit in such a circumstance?  How could any group of players really accomplish anything like that?  Yet, this is just what family law lawyers do in a divorce!  No one works together as a team when someone is trying to make their own “player” come out on top of everyone else!  A divorcing couple is a team, whether they like each other at the moment or not.  They require cooperation because at the very moment that they choose to divorce, they are wearing the same “marital jersey”.  They play on the same team.

At Go Divorce Clinic our vision allows us to approach divorce the right way, with the right tools and the right skill sets.  Our clients from Marin County to Mendocino County, from Napa County to Sonoma County all say the same thing over and over, “What you do makes so much sense, and for so much less cost.  Why isn’t anybody else doing it?  We are so glad we were referred to you”.  Starting off with one simple vision from our local home office in Healdsburg, Ca., we have branched out to Ukiah, San Rafael, Napa, and Santa Rosa so that now we are the number one choice for uncontested divorce in northern California.  As we continue to spread out across the state, we will not compromise our vision or our integrity.  We foresee that ultimately, as more people discover the right way to end their marriage, that other service providers will follow suit and adopt our healthier way to conduct marital dissolutions and legal separations.  In the long run we expect to bring about whole scale change in the business of family law so that the consumer, the individual, the families, and the children of divorce will all benefit from an ethical and dignified divorce process that is affordable.  To learn more about Go Divorce Clinic or it’s founder Robert Revel, visit:  www.GoDivorceClinic.com

 

Culture of Divorce – Fear: The Great Destroyer

September 24, 2013

Divorce MediatorI have presided over more divorces than I want to remember.  If there were one common aspect to nearly all of them, I could easily say it was fear.  Divorcing couples are almost always afraid, quite often terrified at what they are facing.  One thing I know, FEAR is the great destroyer.  FDR once said, “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself”.  Sage advice.  If I could somehow take the fear out of divorce, that gesture alone would put an end to the ugliness in divorce.

So many people in a divorce think they are angry, frustrated, suspicious, or even disgusted with their spouse and blame them for all their woes, but what they really are is afraid.  Afraid that they will lose something important, or have lost something already.  Afraid that they have made a huge mistake by ever getting married in the first place.  Afraid to move forward alone.  Afraid that they will not be able to survive or cope on their own.  Afraid that the other spouse has some kind of malevolent power over them.  Afraid that their children will hate them because of the divorce.  Afraid to let go of the past.  Afraid to release themselves from the familiar cycles of pain.  Afraid of the future, afraid of the unknown.

At the root of anger is almost always fear.  Expressing anger will eventually begin to destroy those who author it.  Fear, on the other hand can be processed and expressed in a healthy way and can lead to healing.  Understanding fear within ourselves can lead to a managed life of depth and strength.  There is always room in my office to express fear, but not the kind of blaming fear so many indulge in in divorce cases.  Rather there is always room to own and express the fears that do not ascribe their creation to another person.  It helps to understand that fear is our own progeny, not put upon us by another.  It helps to understand that we author our own emotional states.

Divorce, as I see it, has always been one of the greatest opportunities for growth and renewal that can occur in the lives of many.  But there can be no growth, evolution or refinement of our personal lives unless we take full responsibility for why we are where we are, and for how we feel now, moment to moment.  “Victim-hood” is a toxic indulgence that too many individuals of divorce wallow in.  It keeps them bound under the co-dependent power of another, because it gives all their power away to the person they blame.  How can we ever take charge of our lives when everything bad we feel is because another person “made us feel that way”?  How can we move forward in freedom when we think that everything we don’t like that is happening to us is because the other person “made it happen to us”?

Go Divorce Clinic has from it’s very beginning approached the business of divorce, not from simply a family law perspective, but from a very human point of view.  There is so much at stake at the transition of divorce, particularly where there are children involved.  The social fabric of families in America deserve more than what is available through the traditional business as usual in the industry of family law.  Where there is seeming devastation and disintegration, there can be hope and opportunity, but we need wisdom, skill, compassion and integrity to light the way.  It’s never been about the money at Go Divorce Clinic, and it has always been more than just the legal paperwork.  At Go Divorce Clinic we find our passion in doing the right thing in the face of institutions and an industry that may not.

Share our services with those you may know in need of a healthier transition through divorce.  Visit us at:  www.GoDivorceClinic.com

Divorce Lawyers and Street Bullies

August 16, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen I was a young boy growing up in the city, a gang of older boys decided to make me and my best friend fight each other because I was white and he was black.  They formed a large circle around us and taunted my friend and I into fighting by shoving us into each other hard.  It was the kind of twisted cruelty you find when people make dogs fight and bet on the outcome.  My friend and I never even really argued, so the idea of us fighting each other made me sick to my stomach and we wouldn’t do it at first.  But these larger boys had come to see a race fight and they were persistent.  After what seemed forever, we were both bruised and a bit bloody from slamming into one another, when my friend started to lose it.  He took a desperate swing at me and the crowd of boys went wild like sharks that smell blood.  The older boys thrust us now at each other at collision speeds, and my best friend finally snapped.  He started attacking me like an animal that had been beaten so much that everything that came too close seemed life threatening.  He hit me several times hard, but I would not retaliate.  I could not hurt my best friend just to entertain these jackals.  In order to stop the violence I grabbed my friend and restrained him so that he could not move.  I did not hit or harm him.  The cruel older boys got frustrated and bored at this and dispersed at last.  I never forgot that incident.

Today I work in a profession where divorce attorneys push husbands and wives, who may also be mothers and fathers, into each other every bit as hard as those cruel inner city kids did to my friend and I.  But divorce lawyers do it not for entertainment so much as for profit.  I know first hand that even the best of bonds can be stressed and compromised when antagonists from the outside scheme to pit two parties against one another.  In a divorce, two people who have been best friends for many years are suddenly faced with the loss of that partnership and the immediate diminishment of their overall intimacy.  It is a vulnerable place to be.  Family law attorneys have in large measure become predators to these circumstances.

I have no issue when those who intend to harm the other party in a divorce proceeding get discouraged to do so by legal intervention.  I am actually grateful for skilled legal action that serves to protect the vulnerable, powerless and disenfranchised from being abused by bullies and malevolent relationship tyrants.  But truly these cases are rare in family law.  Many, many times I see clients from Sonoma and Marin Counties come into my office expecting a fight because that is what they are so used to hearing happens in a divorce.  Then they are surprised when at a Go Divorce Clinic intake I do not fuel the fire, or feed the drama.  They are relieved to find that I am not taking sides and that the meeting is a safe and well intentioned one that is seeking to help them both find the best way through their current situation.

A recent client just informed me that his daughter is going through a nasty divorce with lawyers at the same time that he is processing his own divorce through my office.  He has depleted $18,000 dollars of his own money contributing to the lawyer-driven divorce of his daughter’s legal fees;  currently at about $30.000, and there is no end in sight to her battle with her husband.  My client marvels at how by contrast that in a few weeks time he and his wife can have a sane and reasonable divorce for a flat fee of $2500.00 through Go Divorce Clinic.  Why can’t his daughter and her husband do the same?  It’s not because his daughter and her husband are crazy people, it is because the traditional divorce process they chose to use in my opinion is currently not equipped to handle cases that are not adversarial – so the family law attorneys tend to make wars out of the marriage dissolutions that get brought to them.  Like the bullies that tormented my friend and I, fighting is what they know and provoking confrontation is what they do.

You may think that an uncontested divorce is not for you.  That it is only for the granola munching, progressive, peace-nicks who somehow find a way to love their enemies all the time and turn the other cheek with routine regularity.  Not so.  I would say that 90% of all divorces could be handled as uncontested, with the remaining 10% of contested cases reserved for those wealthy enough to spend half a million dollars arguing over several more millions of dollars just because they can, or in cases where someone would actually use a divorce proceeding to punish the other out of spite.  I am not so idealistic that I do not recognize that some people have a specific agenda to hurt the other person explicitly.  It’s just that those instances in my experience may be 1 in 90 cases, and when they show up in my office I send them off to lawyers where they belong.

Someday soon I know that the tide will shift, as Go Divorce Clinic continues to prove out that there is a sane and humane way to end a marriage that preserves the resources and dignity of those moving through the transition of divorce.  If you would like to learn more about the Go Divorce Clinic difference visit our website at:  www.GoDivorceClinic.com

DIVORCE IS NOT JUST A LEGAL THING

July 19, 2013

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What is the anatomy of a divorce?  After years of both mediating and facilitating divorce, the dynamics appear fairly consistent.

First there is a marital crisis, usually of an extended scope.  After cycles of repeated exposure to the same compounding relationship stressors over time that do not seem to change there is a deep feeling of hopelessness that sets in.  Finally comes the resignation and giving up that is the divorce threshold.  This is where I meet people everyday in my profession as a divorce facilitator and owner of the Go Divorce Clinic of Sonoma County.

The divorce threshold is a strong feeling that prompts a decision arrived at by one or both parties after experiencing an exposure to relationship dynamics that appear unbearable and hopelessly beyond repair.  In some instances there can be avenues for repair and reconciliation, but in most situations a feeling of being “over” the marriage has set in and there simply is no going back for these individuals.

The beauty of our approach at Go Divorce Clinic is that we take a fresh look at our clients situation when they arrive in our office.  We make no assumptions about where they are at and what they are in our office to do until we talk to them directly.  That means really any possibility can occur after we have spoken with them, including reconciliation.  We have no agenda to divorce couples, even though that is our business.  If we carried such an agenda we would be no better than the divorce lawyers who so often push clients into a contested divorce immediately, quick to encourage their client to run off and file a petition for divorce without even consulting with or hearing from both individuals in the marriage.  That kind of protocol serves family law attorneys, not a couple in the midst of a marital crisis.

The vision of Go Divorce Clinic is to try and first discover, then do  what is best for the two human beings who walk through our office door.  That doesn’t necessarily mean spending hours rehashing the wounds of the marriage, but it does mean breathing in a little space up front to understand where they are as a couple (and as individuals), where they need to get to, and the best way for us to help get them there.  And there are many options available, because everyone’s lives are unique.  Our clients need to feel safe enough to be able to approach the subject of divorce without feeling afraid they are going to be forced into it when they are not ready, or have the process move at a pace that does not suit them.  They need to trust that we as divorce facilitators and guides to the process are not here to jam them through a cold and foreign legal process.

Divorce is an intimately human affair, and though the legal component is an important tool to utilize during the process, the law itself is not the foundation of a healthy divorce.  We, like no other divorce service, understand that.  Go Divorce Clinic is changing the face of marital dissolution from a cold and calculated legal brawl to a transition that looks to support both Parties into the next chapter of their lives.  It’s the way things ought to be, and as more and more people keep discovering our service, it will be the way things will be for families facing the difficult transition of divorce in the future.

Contact our office today to learn more about how we can help you or your friends and family who maybe facing a marital crisis in Napa County, Sonoma County, Marin County and Mendocino County.  Visit us at:  www.GoDivorceClinic.com

 

Go Divorce Clinic’s Unique “One-Day Divorce”

June 23, 2013

SONY DSCWhen I started Go Divorce Clinic, I knew that changing the old way of doing divorces would not be easy.  The challenge was not just the significant task of restructuring the typical business protocols of the business of divorce that family law attorneys had created, but that there would also be the second necessary action which involved the critical component of educating the public about the very existence of a better way to divorce.  In my business, advertising about a divorce business is akin to advertising about funeral home services, it’s not going to be about a flashy marketing.  I realized early on that with the very discreet and intimate nature of divorce, my most powerful marketing would come by word of mouth from those individuals who had experienced not only a tremendously affordable, but superior service from Go Divorce Clinic.  The power of that synergy has propelled Go Divorce Clinic to expand at a phenomenal rate.  Now not only Sonoma County, but all bay area Counties utilize the divorce services of Go Divorce Clinic.  Some jurisdictions we initially had no office in, but the clients there had heard about our services, saw our website, and understood that there was no divorce mediator or family law attorney who could serve their needs the way that Go Divorce Clinic does.  And so we have grown exponentially at a rate that is truly extraordinary in this business, and in this economy.  I am thankful to those many couples over the years who have used our services, told friends and family, and taken the time to write testimonials to share with the public that there is a healthy and quick way to dissolve a marriage without unnecessary emotional toll and cost.

On July 1st, 2013, Go Divorce Clinic will relocate it’s main office from Healdsburg to Santa Rosa, Ca. and we are so excited!  Our comfortable home office in Healdsburg has received so many couples over the years, and has served as a safe and serene location to launch our unique service.  Our Healdsburg office remains to serve our north Sonoma county and Mendocino County clients, but now our new expanded office in Santa Rosa will become the main central office, with receptionist, comfortable waiting lobby, and multiple conference rooms.  Our new facility, equipment, staff and proximity to the Court 5 minutes away allows us to offer a new product we are so excited about:  The “One-Day  Divorce”!

Now offered in Sonoma County exclusively, the “one-day” divorce allows our clients to come to one typically 2 hour meeting and be done with everything they need to do to finish their divorce after that meeting.  Go Divorce Clinic has created a system where, when certain criteria are met by the divorcing couple, we reduce their total participation in the divorce to one typically 2  hour meeting at our office!  While a divorce decree cannot be issued until after the 6 month “cooling period” statutorily provided for by California law, our clients will be free to get on with their lives and have the issue of their divorce processing resolved with only a couple hours of their total participation in a single meeting required!!

At Go Divorce Clinic we understand that a divorce may be the single most emotionally difficult thing we may be faced with in our lives.  It’s a transition that deeply challenges the most well adjusted of us.  We know that not only do we provide a completely affordable alternative to traditional contested divorce, but we also provide the best in comprehensive divorce service to our clients, bar none.  If you are facing a marital crisis and would like a safe and professional place to come to for clarity and assitance, call our office today to schedule your fee-free consultation with me.  And visit our website at:  www.GoDivorceClinic.com  to learn more about how our clients have made Go Divorce Clinic the “Go-To” divorce service provider in northern California.

Do We Really Need A Divorce?

May 9, 2013

IMG_1656So many folks in marital crisis come into our office feeling that they have reached the end of the line.  “It’s over” they say at that first meeting.  But there are times when it doesn’t quite feel that way somehow when you are speaking with them openly and intimately.  There have been instances when I have felt more love in the room between the “divorcing” couple than animosity.  It has always struck me as curious when this happens, and I have learned to take the time to ask the couple, to inquire as to what this is that I am feeling between them.  The outcome of such conversations are always beautiful, even if they are sad.  And sometimes, on rare occasions, the conversation leads to reconciliation instead of divorce.

Instances of marital crisis are first and foremost human events.  At Go Divorce Clinic of Marin and Sonoma County we understand that every relationship is as unique in its beginnings as it is in its end.  No one should be handled like they were on an assembly line when they feel they are on the threshold of a divorce.  There is so much confusion, disorientation, and overwhelm when a life partnership seems to be coming to an end.  Of all the cases that come through our offices for divorce, there are instances when breathing space into the process and honoring the basic human dignity of both parties sometimes reveals that there is more to the matter than perhaps even the couple themselves is seeing.  In these moments I feel it is my responsibility to ensure that the couple is understanding fully the import, and scope of the decision they are about to make, and offer them an opportunity to arrive at a place of clarity that can form the foundation needed to move forward with whatever decision is best for them.

It is part of the ethical component of the vision of our company to provide space upfront in the process that might even allow for outcomes that don’t always offer us a profit on every occasion.  We have no agenda to divorce couples anymore than we have one to keep them together.  What we do have is a heart-centered committment to help couples in marital crisis discover what it is that serves them best as human beings, and empower them to do that in any way we can help through our office – and that doesn’t always mean divorce.  It is true that some people have come to our office expecting to divorce, and found that after the initial consultation they had re-considered, decided to work together to stay together, and are in fact still married today.

Some couples have come to our office needing something to change significantly in their relationship, and believing that that something had to be a divorce.  Upon some discussion and deliberation during our consultation they were made aware of other options they had not considered.  For some I have helped structure a trial separation with an informal written separation agreement that is not filed with the Court, in tandem with formal counseling, life coaching or other forms of relationship support outside our office.  For many, a formal legal separation with a leave to amend to a divorce in the future if they so decided was the answer.  For some, a spark of hope for reconciliation was what revealed itself at that first meeting, often leading to one or both parties working in scheduled sessions with me to enhance their communication and emotional skills to bridge the gap that was rupturing their intimacy.

It has always been important to me as the founder of Go Divorce Clinic that this company would be grounded in an ethical imperative that serves the needs of those who walk through our office door, and not the other way around.  Unlike family law attorneys, that means we sometimes risk losing business to outcomes that may move away from the specific divorce services we provide.  But it is necessary and appropriate that we do this, because I know children today who’s parent came into our office for a divorce, and still have mom and dad together and at home because during the initial consultation we stopped, listened and found something other than irreconcilable differences at work in their relationship.  Instead, with these cases, we helped them move toward a better marriage instead of a divorce.  We did the right thing instead of the profitable one, because my personal conviction is that abundance comes in more forms than money.

I hope we can help couples caught in marital crisis find whatever course they need to take to unfold the next chapter in their lives.  Let me know how we can help.  You can visit us at:  www.GoDivorceClinic.com

What Is a “Spiritual” Divorce? Do I Want One….?”

April 11, 2013

Spiritual DivorceAt Go Divorce Clinic we began our vision for divorces in Sonoma and Marin County with the notion that a divorce was first and foremost a human event, not simply a legal one.  Many divorcing couples in San Rafael and Santa Rosa come into our offices really wanting more from the divorce process than just the paperwork done right, and for it to be affordable.  Most all divorcing couples these days want the process to have some dignity to it.  They want to be in control of the speed and timing of the dissolution, so that it is not too fast or too slow for them to process the event emotionally.  Often times they want to ease into the initial divorce decision, and insure that both parties have an opportunity to be heard and to feel safe enough to continue, even though the whole thing may be very scary to one or both of them.  More and more people want to find a way to reflect back on the marriage with something other than bitterness and disdain for the other spouse, particularly if there are children between them.  Most interestingly perhaps to me is that many of our divorcing clients want to have a sense that their marriage, though ending now, had some beneficial meaning during its term.  They yearn to feel that the union had some purpose; that their partnership wasn’t all a mistake from the very beginning, that it all had not been a colossal waste of time.

Perhaps guilt and regret play some part in this, but I prefer to honor the needs of these particular clients as a genuine attempt to re-discover the value and beauty that once fired their partnership, so that they can move forward with the dissolution knowing that although not everything lasts forever, it doesn’t have to mean that the marriage itself was ever a mistake or a failure.  People put so much energy and faith into a marriage, and often they produce children out of it.  To come to the end of a marriage and look back on it with bitterness, regret or shame is certainly damaging to the future emotional health of the individuals involved.  The toxic feelings and perceptions that are stirred during a divorce may be even more damaging after the fact than even the very relational rifts that broke them apart irreconcilably as a couple in the first place.

At Go Divorce Clinic we understand the delicate nature of divorce, and the emotional toll and psychological strain it has on those moving through it.  We are not divorce lawyers.  We have a different assignment than family law attorneys.  We are not duty-bound to represent one party over anothers best interest.  We do not help our clients win the war of bitterness; a war where no one really wins in the end.  We provide a safe, compassionate, understanding and supportive environment first and foremost.  We provide information and creative strategies for a mutually beneficial dissolution.  A heart-centered divorce does not mean everyone is going to be happy and joyful in the midst of a marriage ending.  A spiritual divorce does not mean we chant and burn sage and all the sad feelings drift away immediately with the incense.  A heart-centered divorce simply means we prepare a space for all the human aspects of divorce and honor them.  A spiritual divorce means we consider more than ourselves in the process, as we learn that a dissolution requires the same cooperation, the same teamwork, that gives any marriage its mileage during its lifetime.

Today, divorcing couples expect more from divorce services than coming out on top with their divorce lawyers, or dragging on endlessly with a mediator over every little crumb in the estate.  Today’s divorcing couples want dignity throughout the process.  They want to move forward without feeling tethered to a guilt, shame, bitterness or overwhelm that only multiplies through a divorce process that serves lawyers and not the people paying them for help.  It isn’t pollyanna to want to end a marriage with care and respect.  It’s important to people going through a divorce that this critical juncture in their lives be handled right, and it is important to our culture that we learn to heal the ailing business of family law in the United States for ourselves and our children.  Visit us on the web at:  www.GoDivorceClinic.com

 

When Is It Time To Get A Divorce Lawyer?

March 15, 2013

BoatJust because I always advocate for attorney free uncontested divorce in Sonoma County, it doesn’t mean that there are not occasions when a good divorce lawyer is needed.  Sometimes the tide of goodwill between a separated couple has receded so far, it has left the marital ship aground.  I know first hand because there are several instances when I will refer individuals out to divorce attorneys when the situation has gone too far, and the couple is too polarized to cooperate.

Sometimes there are incidents of domestic violence, or child abuse, or a general volatility dynamic occurring in the partnership that is genuinely scaring one of the Parties.  Family law attorneys in this case are essential to help generate emergency orders that can protect the health safety and well being of children and affected spouses.

Sometimes in divorces there are situations where one spouse is controlling all the financial aspects of the marital estate and the other party feels beholden to, or a victim of the other spouses control of the purse strings.  In such cases a family law attorney is critical in supporting the dis-empowered spouse, so that he or she may gain access to marital funds to help them begin the transition toward separating and beginning a new life outside of the marriage.

Sometimes a spouse can fail to disclose all marital assets, or debts.  A divorce attorney can through a process called “discovery” compel a full and transparent disclosure of everything in the marital estate, including all forms of income.

Lawyers are not the evil empire, they are extremely valuable tools when used in the right context.  Fortunately most divorces don’t require such extreme methods of intervention, and that is why Go Divorce Clinic is the “go-to” solution for most couples facing divorce in Santa Rosa, Ca. and Sonoma County.  Find out how you can save money and avoid the extreme version of contested divorce with lawyers, by visiting your local office of Go Divorce Clinic today for a fee-free consultation.

Visit us on the web at:  www.GoDivorceClinic.com

Is There A Right Way To Divorce?

February 18, 2013

Go Divorce ClinicDivorce has become what it is today, because of the legal service providers that oversee it.  Divorce attorneys and divorce mediators have created the template that divorcing couples have traditionally used to get a divorce.  But the template is flawed, and it is damaging families.  The children of divorce in the United States suffer the most because of the loss of financial resources in the marital estate that end up going to attorneys instead of the parents, and even more damaging, the bitterness that is almost always forever impressed upon the parents of contested divorce.

Divorce is a transition period in peoples lives.  Imagine if every time some significant change in your life came to pass, attorneys descended on the situation like vultures from the sky, creating fear, division, false pretense and anger with the very people you need to help you, all the while draining your financial capacities just when you needed them most.  Most of the time this is what I see divorce lawyers in Sonoma County, and across the country doing.  Even well intentioned family law attorneys are caught in a toxic adversarial system they cannot escape from – all it takes is one greedy lawyer to start the war.  Divorce does not have to be this way.

Now Go Divorce Clinic is changing the course of history.  No longer are divorcing couples stuck with no options but a contested divorce with lawyers or mediators.  Go Divorce Clinic is the number one choice for divorcing couples in Sonoma County because people there have learned the incredible benefits of using a highly skilled neutral divorce facilitator to process their divorce, and leaving the costly world of divorce attorneys behind.  Now lawyers and mediators are becoming the measure of last resort.  Divorcing Couples are taking control of their lives and their resources, while still getting the professional help they need for a divorce.

Divorce attorneys focus on winning for their clients by arguing the law.  Go Divorce Clinic is a resource center of information for all things divorce!  While attorneys are arguing over which party in the divorce is worse and less deserving, Go Divorce Clinic facilitators are fleshing out the estate, providing information about rights and responsibilities of each parent, assisting with custody plans, strategizing for an optimal asset and debt division that benefits everyone, and providing a plethora of specialty resource professionals to consult with on key matters within the estate that may need more extensive professional assistance.  Go Divorce Clinic is the new business model for divorce services that actually meet the very specific needs of divorcing couples.

Visit us today at:  www.GoDivorceClinic.com

 

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