Ranked #1 for Divorce Services in Santa Rosa & Sonoma County!

Collaborative Divorce in Santa Rosa, California

June 10, 2012


Go Divorce Clinic:  The New “Divorce Facilitator”

Interestingly enough, whenever you create innovation around a new product or service, the consumer is the last to learn about it, so educating the public to increase awareness becomes the number one task of marketing.  At Go Divorce Clinic of Sonoma County, we have radically redefined the old business model of divorce – including the tired alternatives to contested divorce.  We have replaced the typical Santa Rosa service providers (divorce lawyers, divorce mediators, and online do-it-yourself sites) with accessible and affordable divorce facilitators.  A divorce facilitator has legal training and experience (Paralegal minimum) in family law, is authorized and registered by and with the County to legally perform the task of preparing and filing legal documents (Registered Legal Document Assistant), and has an alternative dispute resolution (Mediation) background, and formal training in child development and child advocacy (Court utilized Special Masters, Parent Coordinators and Decision Makers), and verbal communication training (Non Violent Communication) Skills.  This unique combination of skill sets allows the Go Divorce Clinic divorce facilitator to assist any divorcing couple in Santa Rosa, or Sonoma County, to help them work together, by providing them the useful information, and creative options they need to choose from, all while employing a calm, neutral and even handed approach to the process of settling out the marital estate.

Uncontested v. Contested Divorce

Go Divorce Clinic specializes in uncontested divorce only.  95% of all divorces filed in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, and in the United States are all eventually resolved as uncontested – meaning they eventually settle out of Court and come to some form of divorce settlement agreement.  However in the traditional divorce method using Santa Rosa divorce attorneys, this settlement agreement takes significant time and resources to finalize.  The average divorce in the United States costs $36,000.00 to process; that means this is the average national cost to have lawyers do a divorce for you when in the end most divorces do not end up going to hearing and requiring formal in court representation.  At Go Divorce Clinic, we recognize that 95% of divorcing couples really only need  information and assistance with questions, along with document preparing, agreement drafting, serving and filing services.  This is what we provide.  Why hire Sonoma County divorce lawyers and file a contested divorce in Santa Rosa, when you can instead cooperate with your divorce using the right professional service, and get that  divorce done yourself?  Did you know that it even costs more to file a contested divorce in Sonoma County than it does to file an uncontested divorce?  With or without lawyers, even the Court fees are more expensive when you file for for contested divorce.  Are the family law attorneys in Santa Rosa telling you that?   It’s time for the people to have access to safe, informative, ethical, affordable and professional divorce services in Santa Rosa and Sonoma County.

Divorce Mediation

In Sonoma County there are traditional “alternatives” to regular contested divorce.  The most common I hear folks in Santa Rosa mention is “mediation”.   Interestingly enough, in actuality mediation is often associated with contested divorce where opposing attorneys and their clients cannot come to any form of agreement and therefore require the intervention of a skilled mediator.  In these cases mediation is less an alternative than it is a last ditch effort at unclogging a nasty contested divorce with lawyers.  Some lawyers offer mediation services to individuals, and offer to act as a “third party neutral” to help draft an agreement.  The key thing to keep in mind is the phrase “lawyer-mediator”.  Whenever there is a “lawyer, or “attorney” or even a J.D. (Juris Doctorate) involved in the mediators title, it often means that the mediation costs associated with the title of attorney are commensurate with traditional lawyer fees.  Law school is expensive, and whether you are filing a motion or doing “mediation” the fees involved are typical for the profession.  The second thing to keep in mind is can an attorney, trained and immersed in adversarial dynamics everyday, really be very practiced at the art of neutrality?  Being impartial is hardly the training one receives in law school when representing one client against the opposition.  It is a contracted lawyers duty to  a client to “win” and cause the case for that side to “prevail” .  We have all heard about, and lawyers suffer from, the reputation many attorneys have at going to extreme lengths to win a case.  Is it reasonable to assume that such ingrained biases will not present themselves just because any given lawyer decides to offer mediation?  Does this lawyer even have formal mediation training?  And if so, do they take alternative dispute resolution seriously as a craft?  At Go Divorce Clinic we immerse ourselves in the collaborative process of uncontested divorces in Santa Rosa everyday; cooperation is our daily creed and practice, not just a sideline we dabble in.  Our fees are affordable, and our office is friendly and accessible.  We know family law and the terrain of divorce form a different perspective, a healthier one that sees it as a life transition, not a contest to win.

Collaborative Divorce

Another area of divorce alternative is known as Collaborative Divorce.  This process was created by well intentioned divorce attorneys, and other professionals that assist divorcing couples who wish to cooperate to end their marriage.  At Go Divorce Clinic, we acknowledge and applaud the great inroads these collaborative professionals are making in the field of divorce.  I know personally, and am quite fond of many of the family law attorneys, mediators professionals in Santa Rosa and Sonoma County that make up our own local Collaborative Council of the Redwood Empire (CCRE).  We support each other in spirit.  In a very basic way our approaches parallel one another in the basic protocol that the divorce must remain uncontested through to the judgment, and the clients agree not to vary from this uncontested course.  The primary difference between the formal collaborative divorce process of CCRE and the Go Divorce Clinic is one of cost and complexity.  Go Divorce Clinic clients often simply cannot afford to retain a Santa Rosa divorce attorney, let alone two of them, along with the host of other support professionals that often fill out the collaborative process.  To utilize the collaborative process of CCRE, marital estates must have enough resources to afford paying for two attorneys along with any other professionals that may be brought in during the collaborative process to assist.  For financially complex and well funded marital estates the collaborative process is quite excellent and I highly recommend it if you can afford it.  Though Go Divorce Clinic is quite capable of handling these larger estates as well, people with extensive monetary resources are often inclined to utilize family law attorneys to represent their interests, and if they do, they really couldn’t do better than to contract the services provided by the professionals at CCRE.  It is good to know that family law in Santa Rosa has healthy options for divorce, and Go Divorce Clinic is proud to be the leading edge of simple and affordable divorce assistance in Sonoma County, putting the uniquely skilled and professional services of the divorce facilitator at your disposal.  Visit our website at:  www.GoDivorceClinic.com to learn more about our new vision for the business of divorce.