If you are looking for a divorce attorney in Santa Rosa CA, you are probably under a fair amount of stress. Divorce can be one of the most difficult situations a person can face. Divorces have become synonymous with words like expensive, painful, and acrimonious. Many people who are considering a divorce in Sonoma County believe that they will need to hire a family law attorney and funnel large amounts of money into long and draining court proceedings. These beliefs are fueled in part by misinformation, and are unfortunately often encouraged by divorce lawyers.
The livelihood of a lawyer depends on obtaining clients, and the fear of losing out in a divorce can make prospective clients more likely to hire a lawyer. It is true that in many cases an aggressive legal approach is deliberately encouraged by lawyers; but it is also true that the legal field is by nature a combative one. After all, attorneys are trained to defend and protect a client’s interests. This usually involves a battle in an attempt to subjugate the opponent in order to obtain victory. This might be a typical legal approach you will encounter when searching for a divorce attorney in Santa Rosa, CA.
While this kind of legal assistance may well be a necessity in many other forms of legal actions, the fact of the matter is that with divorce, a mere 5% of them ever even make it to a family court hearing. The vast majority of all divorces are uncontested and do not require a judge to decide the matter. The truth is that most couples involved are able to come to an understanding that does not require attorneys or any resorting to legal battles.
If like most marriage dissolutions, you are needing help with an uncontested divorce in Sonoma County, there are options and alternatives when it comes to obtaining divorce assistance in Santa Rosa CA. Your best choice is the alternative ranked # 1 for divorce services in Sonoma County. Go Divorce Clinic, founded by Robert Revel, offers tools for a smooth, streamlined divorce process that does not require divorce lawyers or even mediation. This unique approach offers the assistance of unique trained professionals who are referred to as divorce facilitators. These individuals provide step-by-step practical and necessary information on all aspects of your divorce at an affordable price. Your divorce facilitator will guide you through the process of finalizing your divorce in a reasonable way that involves both parties working together for a mutually satisfying resolution.
Contact the Go Divorce Clinic for a free consultation. If you are looking for an affordable and fast divorce in Santa Rosa CA, Go Divorce Clinic is the best choice to get you through your divorce without entering into the typical traumatic, lengthy divorce process that can devastate your finances, and tear apart any possibility of ending your marriage with respect and dignity.
Cheaper Than Divorce Mediation
Many people consider divorce mediation as the viable alternative to traditional contested divorce. Indeed divorce mediation has filled the role of getting divorces handled without going to Court. But even when there are no Santa Rosa divorce attorneys involved, Divorce mediation cost in Sonoma County can be unpredictably expensive, and inefficient. At costs ranging from $250.00 to $450.00 an hour, mediation expenses can add up fast. Even if the hours you spend in mediation are relatively low, you still have to pay an attorney mediator typical lawyer rates to prepare your marriage settlement agreement along with all the forms and filing and service that needs to be done. This often adds up to many thousands of dollars, and typically a mediated divorce in northern California will range anywhere form $6,000 to $15,000.00 in the simplest of cases. That is why at Go Divorce Clinic we offer one very low flat fee for our complete divorce services. You will know exactly what your divorce will cost from the very beginning. Nothing hidden, no suprise fees. Check us out on the web at www.GoDivorceClinic.com today, and arrange for your fee free consultation.
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 .
Spousal Support in Santa Rosa
The issue of spousal support in Sonoma County is a complex one. I find that for my clients at Go Divorce Clinic, it is probably the most fragile ground that divorcing couples walk on when settling out the rights and responsibilities associated with the dissolution of a marriage. Perhaps the most confounding aspect for each party is the process of them becoming aware of the roles that each has played in the marriage and accepting the inherent inequities that have arisen by virtue of these roles as they played out over the course of the marriage. What exactly do we mean when we use the word “inequity” in the context of divorce?
Earnings Capacity Inequities
A marriage is first and foremost a partnership. Roles are an essential element in any partnership. To put it bluntly, some roles pay better than others. Domestic labor and child rearing (no matter who does it) pay nothing, garner no health insurance, accumulate no retirement, and enrich no resume. In the extreme cases, one party in a divorce can end up close to retiring age with no real capacity to retain gainful employment, and the predicament is compounded by no retirement accounts, pension or insurance policies waiting to carry them through their final years. In spirit this inequity is tragic because when a couple says “I do”, they typically are committing to be there for each other for life regardless of their roles within the marriage. That trust becomes lost in a divorce, and often one person will lose more than a promise, they can lose significant financial security, and all that this entails. I am not referring to the millionaire “lifestyle” ruptures that post-divorce celebrities must endure, but for the greater cross section of the general public it means a basic necessity deficit in the ability to acquire food and shelter, let alone extras like medicine and clothing.
California Family Code §4320
In California, Family Code §4320 speaks to the elements that constitute a legitimate consideration for spousal support awards. This section of the family code is the legal grist through which those who have throughout the course of the marriage experienced the fact patterns addressed in CFC §4320, and now at divorce are facing a financial disparity, can seek remedy. In my office at Go Divorce Clinic, clients considering a spousal support award often review this section of the family code together in my office to determine if indeed by the time of divorce there has been established a clear earnings capacity inequity due to statutorily defined factors that arose as fact patterns during the course of the marriage partnership. If the couple recognizes that there is a legitimate call for a spousal support award, then the conversation moves to the determination of the amount of the award and the term.
Amount and Term of Award
To say that one can determine the amount and term of a spousal support award with complete objectivity, or establish a consistent and uniform amount and term for every case, or refer to a predetermined award amount in an absolutely standardized way would be an overstatement. Dissomaster spousal support calculations can offer some idea based on a formula established looking at income and expense criteria, among other things. However, rules of thumb and Dissomaster guideline amounts aside, the fact ever remains that spousal support awards are always going to be looked at case by case; trying to guess what any given family court judge will decide, with any given case, on any given day, is realistically impossible. What appears fair to one party may simply not appear fair to the other no matter what the Dissomaster suggests or what a family court judge rules. This is why I work with my clients at Go Divorce Clinic to find agreement between themselves. In the end, knowing how the law speaks statutorily to spousal support, and the facts about your marriage roles, combined with a facilitated dialogue about the issue, will go along way to reconciling inequities in a way where control of the outcome is retained by the Parties involved.
At Go Divorce Clinic, I always suggest to clients that along with these logistical considerations, your personal conscience and what your heart says will always serve best to find the right solution to address earnings capacity inequities derived from participation in a marriage partnership. With no one “right answer” to be found with regard to spousal support, we can do our best to sense into what “feels” right after all the law and facts are considered. Participating in your own agreement together shaves the edge off resentment and bitterness from both sides, and helps heal instead of exacerbate the differences in perspective between divorcing couples. Not being afraid to have a healthy conversation about what spousal support is designed to address, and how that may or may not apply to your marriage ought to be a basic approach to the business of conducting clients through the divorce process. Visit our website at: www.GoDivorceClinic.com to learn more about our new vision for the business of divorce.
You know, many, many, many people are foregoing attorney driven divorces now for self-representation. It’s almost a movement. The unfortunate thing, I feel, is there’s not enough legitimate support and assistance for those people who really want to self represent, who really want to have control of the process, so that their actual needs get heard and expressed on the particular government forms, or declarations, or their request for orders. People have a right to take care of themselves in these circumstances, and they have every capacity and ability to do it. We do it every day, day in and day out. For years, we’ve done it through this clinic. It works. People do not need attorneys to get a divorce. They do not need mediators to get a divorce. They need someone to facilitate the process that has a skill set that can manage conflict if it arises, can manage emotions because there are profound emotions. It’s a very human process.
The movement of self-help, where people are fed up with the old paradigm of attorneys drawing out cases, and more paperwork and more filing and more drama, all of that. People are fed up with it. They truly are, and they’re trying to find a way to help themselves. Go Divorce Clinic is here to do just that. To help them control the process of their own dissolution, to help them control the outcome because they’re co-creating it, not lawyers and not a judge. Their alternatives without lawyers? A mediator, perhaps. But many times mediators are lawyers. And mediators aren’t really about, in my opinion, self-representation. Supporting and encouraging self-representation. Mediators are looking for the problem between two disputing parties that they can solve. But it’s still not what I feel people need that are moving through a divorce process.
What they need is to actually have what’s important to them listened to, understood and expressed in the appropriate legal paperwork that needs to be submitted to the court. And that’s what we are doing. We are helping couples who can cooperate self-represent themselves and come to an agreement without attorneys or mediators. They don’t ever have to go to hearing. They don’t ever have to go to court. That makes the family court system very happy because they’re plenty bogged down with people who are struggling with attorney-driven divorces. So, empowering the people to empower themselves is a big part of what Go Divorce Clinic is about and we assist them in that endeavor. We prefer working with couples who cooperate. It stream lines the process, it’s less expensive, it takes a lot less time, it preserves dignity.
If there’s a co-parenting relationship beyond the dissolution, it enhances for a more optimal relationship between mother and father after. That’s what we’re focused on at Go Divorce Clinic. Because we know that’s what’s best for the people that walk in our office, and it’s what’s best for the children who don’t come into the office, who don’t have a voice. This is what people need, and this is the kind of service and the spirit with which they get it at Go Divorce Clinic.
Recently a referral of mine called me after we had spoken about me possibly doing an uncontested divorce for he and his wife. He wanted to see if his wife would work with him through my office, and when he spoke to her about it she said she would think it over. A week later she had secretly lawyered-up and out of the blue, served him with a petition for divorce. The petition carried with it the classic adversarial, ask-more-than-you really-expect-to-get-so-you-have-room-to-bargain claims in it, along with the requisite twist on the fact patterns of the marriage that made her look like the innocent victim and him look like the one who needed to pay in order to equalize the various water colored injustices detailed by the attorney that he had supposedly put her through during the course of the marriage. He now had thirty days to respond to the petition (or be at risk of being held in default) and even less time to respond to an order to show cause addressing a claim for immediate temporary spousal support and attorney fees. Now, with divorce lawyers in Santa Rosa, CA. involved, what could have been a process of mutual collaboration to put together an agreement to settle their marriage at Go Divorce Clinic for a $1600.00 flat fee) had turned into an expensive stand-off that now, costing $6,000, with a heightened fear, mistrust and bitterness between the couple.
The Cost of Legal Posturing
Is it always wise to immediately petition for divorce before the Parties ever get a chance to even discuss the possibility of settling their estate themselves? In this case, no demands or claims were made by the husband prior to her acquiring her counsel. In fact, the husband just wanted to come to the table with his wife and a skilled neutral facilitator to look over the marital estate and discuss how it might be divided among themselves. Perhaps the wife felt she needed to be aware of her rights in the matter first. Fair enough, I think that is wise. But she could just as easily have acquired some limited scope legal advice before sitting down at the table with her husband. Filing a petition for divorce before legal counsel even knows the position of the other party can appear as an inflammatory gesture to the spouse getting served without any real expectation of a divorce petition coming. The unilateral action to petition for divorce without prior discussion between parties can be seen as an aggressive action which pressures the served party to immediately file a response just to defend themselves against the offensive maneuver of being served with the petition and summons. It all seems so unnecessarily provocative and inefficient to handle such a case this way, yet this is quite typical. When there is no evidence that either party has been, or is currently in any imminent danger of having major assets taken, that either party is being wronged, injured, exploited or taken advantage of by their spouse, why not let them sit down first and see if they can come to an agreement to work collaboratively first, before filing for divorce?
It seems to me that too many lawyers seem to have a vested interest in posturing divorcing couples against one another when in reality, a divorce can and should simply be the last project that a husband and wife do together as a couple. This collaborative perspective has served well the clients that come through my door at Go Divorce Clinic, and so our vision is that this healthier approach becomes the new way that the business of divorce is conducted. Visit our website at: www.GoDivorceClinic.com to learn more about our vision for change.
The court system is a very precarious place to put all of the things that are on the table in a divorce that matter to you: Your finances, your children, your emotional well-being, and the relationship that you’re going to have post-dissolution with your spouse. That’s a very precarious place to go. Because all the decisions are going to be made out of your hands by a judge, who’s going to be listening to two other people that are representing the two parties at hearing. If that isn’t a loss of control of the client, the client’s ability to say what they want, when they want, and how they want, I don’t know what it is. Because, by the time their needs get translated through an attorney, and through a judge who’s got stacks of papers he’s gotta read and files, and listening to hearsay, and he said/she said, and trying to make decisions based on that, and what evidence has been piled up, the cost and efficiency, the emotional toll and the outcomes rarely are satisfying for people.
What is the best way for somebody moving through a dissolution to control the process? The best way is for those two parties to cooperate. Because if they can cooperate, and I maintain that 95% of people can. The only ones that can’t are the ones that have an agenda to hurt somebody. They really have an agenda for that. And those are rare, they’re few and far between. Most people are confused, upset, disoriented, and scared… Absolutely. But if they go someplace that doesn’t polarize them, if they go someplace that understands the emotional context, if they go someplace that isn’t looking at these two individuals to see who can win, if they go someplace that can guide them through the legal questions, the asset and debt allocation, the rights and responsibilities, the support issues and structure, and has an experience with that, and is looking at it solution-based, not confrontational, not oppositional, but solution-based… We don’t have a problem here, we just have some issues that we need to find clear solutions to. It’s a different approach. That’s what Go Divorce Clinic is all about.
That’s what really meets the needs of people moving through a dissolution process, and it allows those clients to control the process by participating in it. The only thing they have to do is to cooperate. Which really isn’t as tall a order as most people think, because the family law industry has really spun this to believe that every divorce has to be in a War of the Roses, has to be this huge, ugly thing. “Oh my God, a divorce.” It doesn’t have to be that way, and the clients that move through my office don’t experience that ugliness. It’s difficult, sure. It’s absolutely, emotionally very hard to end a marriage. But it doesn’t have to be ugly hard. It doesn’t have to be bitter hard.
Our vision works, and has been working for years, is a vision where people can come, have a safe place, and be guided through the process and break things down equitably, reasonably, to decide over rights and responsibilities with a discussion that’s adult, that has respect and dignity to it, that cuts out the drama, that does what’s in the best interest of the children. This kind of venue never goes inside of a courtroom, never goes to hearing, never needs attorneys to argue about who’s right and wrong.
Go Divorce Clinic is the best choice for divorcing couples that have children. I’m just simply not aware of anywhere that I would even suggest or want people to go if they have children in a divorce than my office. I just had a couple last night that came in for a divorce. I always do a gut check with people that are on the threshold or believe they’re on a threshold to divorce when they have children because nobody’s going to speak up for the children because they can’t for themselves. So I do. The way that I do that is to make certain that, [A] the parties actually are on a threshold to divorce based on an irreconcilable circumstance.
Many people come into my office and believe there are irreconcilable circumstances, and it may not necessarily be that. It may be a communication issue. It may be just some dynamic that’s been going on that they haven’t been able to work out, even in counseling. I advocate for children and the whole space for them is to make certain first and foremost that their parents actually need to divorce. And we have a discussion about that, an honest discussion.
Secondly, if the divorce process has to go through, their needs are at the top of the list. I remind my clients always, we’re doing this for our children. We are making sure that each parent isn’t left out on the lurch, isn’t exploited, isn’t hurt, isn’t abandoned. That we’re going to try to take care of each other as best we can in this situation because ultimately when we care for each other, in the tearing down and the breaking down of the marriage, that if we care for each other, we’re caring for the children.
There is a theme that’s woven through the disillusion process that I translate to the clients that we’re doing what’s in the best interest for the children always. I know of no other place that does that, that will risk doing that, risk losing clients for standing up for what’s in the best interest for children. I absolutely will. I’ll risk whatever it takes to make sure that the kids are taken care of in these contexts.
The question of what separates me from other service providers in family law… It’s a big one, and let me just hit a few of the highlights.
One of the biggest things is “the space” that is created here for people to come as a couple and sit down together to… And dissolve their marriage. This is not an adversarial context which is the environment that they’re going to find in a family law office or even in a mediation office. It’s assumed that these are adversarial contestants, pitted against each other in those other spaces and in those other environments and those other service providers.
Go Divorce Clinic has changed all of that. This is a place where even if you’re not getting along, even if you feel like you don’t want to sit in the same room with the other person because you may be so hurt or bitter, one or the other or both, that you actually can. When you have facilitator that understands that, and that can hold a space for that, and can keep everybody safe and grounded, then you have an environment where those parties can work together and cooperate and dissolve their marriage in a way that’s not going to destroy them or their resources, or even more importantly, create a toxic environment around their relationship with each other that translates to their children, that they have to co-parent with in the long run.
Divorce 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