Choosing how you’re going to make your way through a tough family transition is one of the most important decisions that you can make. Our clients have sought out our San Francisco family law practice in some of the most trying times in their lives. They are facing separation from a spouse or partner, divorce, conflicts over child custody and dealing with the issues of child or spousal support. Others are on the verge of getting married and have fear about how to talk with their spouse-to-be about money, children and death.
If you are looking for an attorney who can give you an honest and kind assessment of the consequences of the choices that you’re facing in this time of transition, contact our San Francisco family law office for a consultation. Liat Weingart Sadler bases her advice to her clients on experience and research, a thorough understanding of the relevant law, and respect for your wishes.
In divorce mediation, Liat Weingart Sadler helps her clients come to agreements about all aspects of their family disputes. She helps her clients dissolve their marriages or change the structure of their parenting relationships by helping them find solutions to their family problems. She provides her clients with legal education, guides them in gathering the information that they need to make decisions, helps them craft proposals to solve their problems, and helps them assess each proposal on the table. Throughout that process, she helps her mediation clients focus on the goals that they have for their lives moving forward.
A Collaborative Divorce is a process which is designed to empower the parties to make decisions that are most beneficial to all the parties involved. In a Collaborative Divorce, the parties hire their own individual attorneys, and the parties sign an agreement to not litigate. This means the parties agree that they will not ask the Court to intervene to resolve any dispute between them. If either party does file a request with the Court, both parties’ attorneys must withdraw from the case. This is called a Disqualification Clause. Upon entering the Collaborative Divorce process, the parties also agree to be forthcoming with all relevant information. In a four-year survey of Collaborative Divorce cases that concluded in 2010 conducted by the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, Collaborative Divorce cases were resolved less expensively and faster than most divorce cases in California using litigation.
Second only to the death of a spouse, divorce and marital separation rank as the most stressful life experiences that a person can have, according to the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale. Experience has taught us that divorce cases take many forms, and reducing the stress inherent in divorce means being able to successfully navigate each road. Going through a divorce can make your feel powerless, and you may not realize that you have a wide range of options to choose from in terms of how you go about resolving your family transition. Generally speaking, you can choose to mediate your divorce, proceed using a Collaborative Divorce, or can litigate your divorce. Our office encourages our clients to vest the decision-making power in themselves whenever possible, using mediation or Collaborative Divorce.
Nothing is more important than your children. To help you craft a shared parenting plan that works best for your children, we will take the time to learn every detail about your children’s lives, down to the minutiae of their daily schedules. We encourage our clients, whenever possible, to use mediation or Collaborative Practice to negotiate with the other parent to come to terms of a custody arrangement that works best for your kids.
Our work begins by understanding your assets and businesses, by listening carefully to your knowledge base about your assets and gathering information from the other spouse when necessary. We help you understand what a California court would do if asked to make decisions about your or your family’s assets. We’ll help you figure out whether there are solutions to division of the marital estate that would benefit you and your spouse and will help you question the idea that your divorce is a zero-sum game. Where there are difficult decisions to be made, we help guide you to qualified financial neutrals to help you understand what your cash flow and asset situation will be after a divorce.
Parents can make almost any decision that works for them with respect to supporting their children. If left to the Court to decide, the standard in calculating orders for child support is the California child support guideline, which takes into account the parental timeshare (time spent with each parent) and the incomes of both parents, from all sources. We help our clients negotiate arrangements between the parents for child support. Should negotiation fail, we can help request child support from the Court.
Spouses can make almost any decision that works for them with respect to spousal support. However, if the issue of spousal support is left for the Court to decide, certain presumptions apply that guide the Court’s decision-making power on the issue. In California, for marriages under ten years in length, there is a presumption that spousal support will last for half of the length of the marriage. For marriages over ten years in length, the outcome is often more uncertain, as the court does not have the power to terminate a spouse’s right to support at the time a judgment of divorce is entered. We work with our clients through mediation or Collaborative Divorce to find reasonable, creative solutions to the issue of spousal support. Our goal is to empower our clients to make their own informed decisions about their finances.
“Liat is a person that you definitely want on your side. It is always comforting to know that you have a person who genuinely cares about the outcome of your situation, who is there if you need questions answered, and who can reassure you during those anxiety provoking moments. Dealing with a legal matter can be a scary venture for those of us unfamiliar with how it all works, and Liat guided me through rough waters with the utmost of professionalism and compassion.”-L.P.
“I cannot recommend Liat enough. She has an amazing personality combination which was exactly what I needed at the time of revisiting my child custody situation. A very sharp, smart, to the point and yet very compassionate person. I felt incredibly well taken care of, well guided and supported by someone who was in the driver’s seat when I couldn’t be. I recommend her wholeheartedly.”-Tamara M.
“Going through a divorce, I had no idea where to start. I heard “get a mediator!” “don’t deal with lawyers” “do it yourself” and may others. I’m so glad I found Liat to help me through the process. She explained very clearly what to expect. I found her to be incredibly easy to work with, honest, and flexible. She didn’t push her services on me…she explained my options and let me decide. Very glad I decided to let her help.”-Jason L.