Collaborative Divorce


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Contact any of our professionals to get started:

Divorce Financial Specialists 

Jessica Simmons, CDFA®, CFP®

Family Financial Mediator

858-326-0046

eMAIL

MEET JESSICA

Brett Cicinelli, CFA, CFP®, CDFA®, MAFF®

Family Financial Mediator

310-422-5396

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MEET BRETT

Kimberly Malesky, CDFA®, MBA, CFP®

Family Financial Mediator

805-770-5235

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MEET KIMBERLY

Divorce Communication Coaches & Child Specialists

Ria Severance, LMFT

Divorce Coach & Child Specialist

626-354-4334

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MEET RIA

Sandy Pedram, LMFT & Esq. 

Divorce Coach

310-991-2111

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MEET SANDY

Family Law Attorneys 

Christine L. Kerian, Esq.

Certified Family Law Specialist

323-663-1000

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MEET CHRISTINE

Armine Baltazar, Esq.

Attorney at Law

310-458-0796

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MEET ARMINE

Kevin Chroman, Esq.

Attorney at Law

818-528-7755

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MEET KEVIN

Jami Fosgate, Esq.

Attorney at Law

818-827-7157

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MEET JAMI

Sandy Pedram, LMFT & Esq. 

Divorce Coach

310-991-2111

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MEET SANDY

Nora Kavner, Esq.

Attorney at Law

310-382-4898

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MEET NORA

Mortgage Brokers

Mathius "Marc" Gertz, MBA, AFC®, CAPS, CDLP®, CREV®

Certified Divorce Lending Professional
Certified Reverse Mortgage Specialist

310-447-5266

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MEET MARC

Realtors

Collaborative Divorce

Our Professionals – financial specialists, licensed mental health professionals and attorneys – are specifically trained in Collaborative Divorce protocols to function efficiently as interdisciplinary teams.

Consider referrals from the professional you contact for a more efficient process, and to identify professionals who may be a “good fit” for you, in particular. You lower your costs by having team members that already know/trust one another and can work efficiently together. You can review our biographies, call and interview Virtual Divorce California Professionals. Starting the process is as simple as calling any one of us.

A Collaborative Divorce  involves:

  • 1 neutral Financial Specialist,
  • 1 neutral Child/Adult Child Specialist,
  • 2 Attorneys, and
  • 2 Communications Coaches.

Your Collaborative Professionals

  • Couples agree to select a neutral Financial Specialist and Child/Adult Child Specialist
  • Each partner has his/her/their own Collaborative Attorney who legally represents each client. 
  • Each partner also has a licensed mental health professional who functions as a “Divorce Communications Coach” to manage intense emotions, facilitate communication/co-parenting, and mediates the parenting plan.
  • Additional professionals may be included in the collaborative process if and as needed by a given couple.

The Collaborative Process

  • Couples typically begin by selecting and getting their legally-required financial information to the neutral Financial Specialist, who prepares Declarations of Disclosure for each spouse. The Financial Specialist can also help clients prepare budgets for various negotiation scenarios, before negotiations start regarding how you will share your income, assets and debts. Financial Specialists are also helpful at the outset of mediated and litigated divorces.
  • While beginning work with the Financial Specialist, you may set appointments for children and/or adult children with the neutral Child Specialist as preparation for mediating the Parenting Plan with both Coaches. Sometimes only 2-3 meetings with children are needed – it depends on the complexity of family dynamics.
  • Once the Parenting Plan is complete with both coaches, and all financial data is organized and analyzed by the Financial Specialist, the couple can begin mediating with their attorneys to decide how they’ll share their income, assets and debts.
  • Depending on a couple’s interpersonal skill or financial needs, Communication Coaches and/or the neutral Financial Specialist may be needed during this negotiation process.

In general, the professionals remain in control of the process, while couples make the decisions about their lives.

The extent to which licensed Mental Health Professionals are used depends almost exclusively on the couples’ skill set. In general, the less skilled a couple is at communicating and regulating emotions, the more help they will need to get to the divorce finish line.

Neutral child or adult-child specialists roles are also filled by licensed mental health professionals. The neutral Child or Adult Child Specialist ensures the impact on young and adult children is fully considered. Children are given “a voice, not a choice” over the adult decisions that belong to divorcing co-parents.  A neutral Child/Adult Child Specialist:

  • Informs co-parenting work with Coaches, and their mediation of the parenting plan, and
  • Represents children’s needs, addresses their wellbeing, and helps monitor the adverse impact of the divorce during the process.

The professional team works together following Streamlined Protocols to help couples generate outcomes that suit their family’s unique needs, budgets and values.