Divorce Mediator

My husband declared that he was leaving me after almost 2 decades of being together and I'm so heartbroken I can barely function. We need to go to mediation since neither of us wants to take it to court so I need recommendations for some good divorce mediators in East Bay. If you had gone through a similar experience and have some to recommend - I would be really grateful. 

Thank you!

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RE: Divorce Mediator ()

I am so sorry to hear of your loss!  This might not work for you, but I went through a divorce around 2000.  We owned a house, not paid off, but had no money since we are both working musicians.  Being agreeable by nature, we used a Nolo Press book and did our own divorce.  A couple times we got stuck and had to consult with an attorney--phone number provided by Nolo Press.  We were charged by the minute so we kept the couple of calls short!  With filing fees, etc., I believe we spent less than $1,000 for the entire divorce.  We both got a little help from family and I managed to buy him out and keep the house.  He managed to buy another home a few blocks away.  We remain on friendly terms.  We also both attended therapy, separately.  I don't know of many people who are agreeable enough to do what we did, but I have always been happy that we did not battle and let lawyers get all the financial benefits.  I will keep you in my thoughts.

RE: Divorce Mediator ()

I can not recommend anyone, but I am current not having a good experience with Larry Rosen.  Before you start with anything take an inventory of all of your accounts.   That is the best way to start - retirement (check if they are Roth or traditional), bank accounts, investment accounts, life insurance accounts - pull statements and get super familiar with what you have.   

RE: Divorce Mediator ()

You sound blindsided by your husband's decision. I'm sorry you are in this terrible position. If marital counseling is not an option, and the divorce is going to happen, I hope you are able to allow yourself to both grieve and move forward in a way that allows you to protect yourself and your financial stability. Litigation and mediation are not the only paths to divorce in California. I just signed my marital settlement agreement through a collaborative process after 25 years of marriage. I strongly suggest you educate yourself and get emotional support (therapist, friends who have been through it, etc.) in place before choosing an attorney and beginning the formal divorce process. Educating yourself will help you prepare to enter the process and know what questions to ask as you interview attorneys. Also, ask any attorney you'd like to interview for a gratis, brief meet-and-greet; otherwise, it can get very expensive, very quickly, just to select an attorney. I would recommend mine, but she is retiring this week.

Many high-quality, free, professional resources are available. Here are two to start with: Second Saturday and Collaborative Divorce California. Both offer free workshops to help you get started.

I wouldn't wish divorce on anyone. Even if both parties have best intentions for an efficient, amicable process, it's a painful, expensive process at best. And yours sounds particularly painful emotionally. Choose the process that best fits your circumstances and personal needs. I greatly benefitted from the collaborative process that works on a professional team model, particularly the coach (mental health professional) who was able to support me in processing my emotions through a very complicated situation and to keep my avoidant former spouse at the table long enough to come to a settlement we could mutually agree to.

Related: I recently heard the author of "Heartbreak: Personal and Scientific Journey", Florence Williams, interviewed. On the surface, her story sounds similar to yours. I have the book que'd up on my bedside table. 

I wish you comfort and support. You will get through this, and you may not be able to imagine it now, but there can be a better life for you on the other side of the divorce.

RE: Divorce Mediator ()

Does it have to be a person who's local, or could this be done on Zoom? This woman in Boston who helped my cousin navigate a potentially acrimonious divorce was just aces. In addition to being a divorce mediator, she is also has a law degree from Harvard, which has a tendency to calm down snobby husbands! PM me if you want her info. I know it's hard to get local appointments, and everyone seems to be booked, but I have a family "in" with her. (And it's legal to do this across state lines.) If my cousin could afford he, she's probably not charging stratospheric prices...

RE: Divorce Mediator ()

In my experience, all divorces must be filed with the court and signed off by a judge. Going to court does not mean you are in disagreement, it is just part of the required process. We used only one lawyer, our agreement was non-emotional and formula-based. The lawyer filed the paperwork with the court, the court assigned us to a mediator to make sure we were in agreement with the filed documents, we waited 6 months, showed up at court, the judged asked if we had any changes, we said no, and the divorce was a done deal.

RE: Divorce Mediator ()

Hi, I can't suggest a mediator, but did want to share support. I have been through a divorce and am now in a great marriage. The pain of separation can feel unbearable, but it does get better. I would be happy to share my experience and perspective with you if helpful. Wishing you peace and healing! 

RE: Divorce Mediator ()

My sympathies, that sounds very difficult. My former spouse and I used Toby Adams for divorce mediation 7 years ago. She was kind and good.

toby.adams [at] gmail.com


Take care,


RE: Divorce Mediator ()

We had a good experience working with Robert Terris JD, MFT (https://famcmc.com/).  He's both a licensed attorney and family therapist, which was just what we needed.  I also did an individual consultation with an attorney (as did my ex-partner), so we came in with an understanding of the legal alternatives (I strongly recommend you do this too, it's expensive even for an hour, but worth it).

RE: Divorce Mediator ()

I have no recommendation but just want to say that I am sorry.