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Divorce, Custody & Mediation

"Change is a part of life. I help clients with some of the major legal issues around change in family structures."

The Mediator or
Collaborative Professional

Divorce Mediation and Collaborative Practice are consensual methods of achieving a divorce settlement. The goal of divorce with Mediation or Collaborative Practice is for you and your spouse to work through issues you need to resolve in order to finalize a divorce. This can help pave the way for a smooth post-divorce relationship with agreements from both parties without litigation in court which oftentimes ends up costing couples much more time, money and emotional trauma. Agreements made voluntarily are more likely to be long lasting.


As a divorce Mediator or Collaborative Practitioner, my job is to bring about a clear channel for communication between couples. With a Collaborative Practitioner, each spouse has their own attorney who can help the spouse advocate for his or her needs and interests. The spouses and all professionals have signed an enforceable agreement which disqualifies them from further work if the case cannot be settled consensually. This would go to Court or to any third party decision maker, such as a Judge. In either role, I help to manage the emotions and frustrations associated with divorce while also assisting couples in the decision making process that comes with issues such as splitting up assets, retirement, alimony, and any child related custody and support. 

As a mediator, my job isn’t to take sides with either party, but rather help you formulate ideas -within legal guidelines- that can lead to agreements that both parties will be satisfied in upholding through time. This allows couples to open up conversation and negotiate openly and fairly. Unfortunately, a lack of communication is often times what brings about the divorce, so a mediator's ability to facilitate openness and conversation between couples - at the time they are least likely to cooperate - is key to the process.

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Issues often covered during

Mediation or Collaborative Practice:

1. Distribution of Property (Assets/Liabilities)

2. Retirement

3. Spousal Support (Alimony)

4. Child Custody and Parenting Time

5. Child Support/Maintenance

Mediation & Real Estate

“One of the thorniest problems facing California couples is figuring out how to integrate their needs and concerns as a family with the legal and practical issues of owning and managing real estate.  These problems get even trickier when couples are out of sync or breaking up, whether or not they are straight or gay, state-registered, married, or simply cohabiting.  Who owns what, who is entitled to what sort of reimbursement, and how to deal with investments and future plans can all be very complicated.  In each of these situations, it is critical to work with a mediator who understands all these areas of law, and can think practically and flexibly about purchases, loans, ownership options, and equitable allocation of equity.   Only then can the mediator work with the parties to integrate the family law and real estate legal issues with the emotional and practical aspects of moving forward and resolving the conflicts.


Charlie Spiegel has all of these skills, and he is ideal as a mediator for resolving these complicated disputes.”

– Frederick Hertz


Frederick Hertz is an attorney, mediator and author.  His latest book is Making It Legal: A Guide to Same-Sex Marriage, Domestic Partnerships & Civil Unions, published by Nolo Press.  Learn more about his work at

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