A Different Divorce

Our commitment is simple:
To help divorcing families avoid needless grief and sacrifices with a collaborative process that recognizes that the families themselves – with direction from their trusted advisors – are best qualified to shape their future and the future of their children.

Compassionate, kind, and knowledgeable.
We are exceptionally experienced at giving practical advice along with legal advice. If you have questions about child custody, spousal support, child support, division of your property or payment of debts, and want to know about your rights and obligations, call us. We will explain your rights accurately and answer your questions thoroughly.

There is a better way.
Whether you are thinking about the possibility of divorce or are already in the middle of one, find out how to complete your divorce in the best possible way for the entire family. We combine close working relationships with psychologists, accountants and financial planners to give assistance with custody, support, property settlements and premarital agreements.

We are easy to talk to, easy to reach. We work with you to bring peace to your family.

Best collaborative divorce attorney Mediation divorce expert Newport Beach divorce

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."

--- albert camus

About us

One of a limited number of Dual Professionals practicing in California today, Jennifer Webb is a licensed Attorney and licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She has practiced law in Orange County for over 25 years, and is certified by the State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization, as a Family Law Specialist. She has a Masters Degree in Psychology and extensive Mediation Training and experience.

The firm resources together with the attorney’s ability to deal with both the legal and emotional issues of family transitions make the firm uniquely effective in settlement negotiations.

In an effort to provide a better alternative for families experiencing marital transition, Jennifer Webb helped bring the collaborative divorce process to Orange County in 2003, and served as President of the local Collaborative Association, Collaborative Divorce Solutions of Orange County in 2006/2007.

Specialties:

  • Collaborative Divorce
  • Divorce Mediation
  • Cooperative Divorce

Practice Areas:

  • Child Custody and Visitation
  • Guardianship
  • Co-Parenting Issues & Visitation
  • Paternity
  • Domestic Violence
  • Qualified Domestic Relations Orders
  • Support Issues & Property Division
  • Prenuptial Agreements

Professional Licenses:

  • Licensed Attorney, State Bar of California
  • Certified Family Law Specialist (CFLS), State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization
  • Marriage and Family Therapist, California Board of Behavioral Sciences

Professional Associations:

  • Collaborative Divorce Solutions of Orange County (CDSOC), past president
  • California State Bar Association
  • Orange County Bar Association - Family Law Section
  • CP Cal - Collaborative Practice California
  • International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
  • California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
Collaborative divorce orange county divorce mediation

Jennifer P. Webb

Newport Beach Attorney

Specializing in collaborative divorce in California, with offices conveniently located in Newport Beach

Divorce Alternatives

Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative Divorce is a relatively new process which affords couples the opportunity to resolve their disputes respectfully in a non-adversarial approach, outside of court. Each party has an attorney specially trained in non-confrontational negotiations so the parties can focus on problem solving. Cases are resolved through a series of settlement conferences where each party’s lawyer is present as well as other professionals as may be needed on a case by case basis. Though fully sanctioned by the courts, the process is private and usually less expensive and time consuming than traditional divorce.

Mediation

Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) where a skilled neural mediator assists the parties in reaching an agreement outside of court. The mediator, though frequently a lawyer, doesn’t give legal advise to either party and doesn’t favor one party over another. The mediator does not make decisions, as the goal is for the parties to reach their own agreement in an environment of cooperation. Mediation is usually far less expensive and time consuming than traditional divorce.

Traditional Divorce

In the traditional divorce model, each party has an attorney to represent their interests and ultimately present their case to the Judge. Each lawyer prepares by obtaining information about the couples finances and parenting abilities through formal procedures such as Depositions and Subpoenas. The goal of each attorney is to achieve the best possible result for their client within ethical boundaries. After all of the formal “discovery” is complete the attorneys and clients may engage in settlement negotiations, however, if they are not successful there will be a court trial and the Judge will make the decisions. This approach to divorce usually takes a year or more and is often very costly.

Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative Divorce is the first system specifically designed to address the needs of families in transition It is an out of court process where each party has the support and guidance of his or her own attorney. A team approach is used to help a couple make fully-informed and carefully considered settlement decisions. When appropriate, a Child Specialist may become part of the team to address developmental needs of children and to present options for parenting plans.

A neutral financial expert may be used to value the worth of a business, present options for dividing assets or retirement funds and explore options for ensuring financial security for both parties. Divorce coaches are often used to assist with communication and the feelings that often arise during divorce such as fear, anger and guilt, which may create blocks to meaningful settlement.

How does the collaborative process work?

  • You and your spouse each choose individual collaborative lawyers and sign a collaborative representation agreement..
  • Coaches, a Financial professional and a Child Specialist are brought on to the team if they are needed.
  • The parties exchange financial and other information, and participate in negotiations and meetings designed to work out resolutions to all the issues that face a divorcing couple.
  • No motions are filed in court, no subpoenas issued or depositions taken and all financial information is produced voluntarily.
  • Ultimately, all agreements are reduced to writing and submitted to the court. The parties never need to appear in court.

How does a Collaborative Divorce differ from a traditional divorce?

A Collaborative Divorce differs from a traditional divorce in several respects:

  • A Collaborative Divorce can usually be completed in a few months. A traditional divorce takes between six and eighteen months to complete, sometimes longer.
  • A Collaborative Divorce may cost less than a traditional divorce.
  • The parties in a Collaborative Divorce case use joint accountants, mental health consultants, appraisers, and other consultants, instead of hiring their own separately retained experts.
  • At the end of a Collaborative Divorce the spouses are more likely to retain goodwill and respect for one another.
  • The feelings and desires of the children are considered throughout the entire process.

Mediation

Mediation is an out of court process used to help couples through the divorce process. While it is conducted out of court, Mediation is a legal process and is sanctioned by the courts. The mediator is a neutral third party who doesn't represent either side, and does not give legal advice to either party. These impartial mediators use appropriate techniques and skills to open and improve dialogue between the parties, with the sole aim of helping reach an agreement. The goal of mediation is to find the best solutions for both you and your spouse, practical solutions that can work for both of you. If you and your spouse are trying to work together but need or want help negotiating the terms of your settlement, then mediation is right for you.

How Does it Work?

Mediation sessions are confidential and conducted in the privacy of the mediators office.

A series of meetings are conducted over a period of weeks with the mediator to address such issues as how you and your spouse will parent your children, divide your property and debts and provide for the ongoing support of your children.

Each party usually has a lawyer available to consult with throughout the mediation process- usually outside of mediation sessions, though in some cases your lawyer may accompany you to the mediation sessions.

Once you have reached an agreement on all issues, the mediator prepares the Settlement Agreement that will be filed with the court.

Many couples simply assume that mediation will not work for them as they are no longer friends, and automatically take their disagreements to adversarial attorneys and the courts. Actually, mediation is so successful that many judges actually require it as a way to avoid bringing your case to court. Judges acknowledge that mediation is a powerful means of avoiding a costly and lengthy court case, and that mediation is the most rational approach to problem solving.

When you reach agreement through mediation, you control your choices – not the attorneys and not the judge. You remain in complete control, and your divorce is more likely to be resolved to your satisfaction. Mediation fees are typically a small percentage of those incurred in an adversarial case.

Premarital Agreements

A premarital agreement is simply that: an agreement between two people who wish to marry that defines the financial arrangement during their marriage and deals with support or maintenance following dissolution of the marriage.

Who Needs A Premarital Agreement ?

Many people entering into second marriages or marriages later in life come into a relationship with substantial assets and/or children from prior relationships. It is natural for people to be concerned about what will happen to their property if the marriage is not successful and to be concerned for their children’s welfare in the event of their death.

Open discussions regarding money and financial matters are often difficult for many couples. Any couple who wish to begin their marriage with a sound understanding regarding financial matters and to avoid later disputes or even court battles may consider a premarital agreement.

What are the Legal Requirements for a Premarital Agreement?

In the state of California, Premarital Agreements are controlled by the California Family Code and must meet certain standards, primarily full disclosure. The law discourages handing the agreement to the other party just prior to the wedding ceremony and requires that the documents be received a certain length of time prior to the signing.

How Does a Couple Get a Premarital Agreement?

With the traditional premarital agreement, one party consults an attorney who writes the initial draft of the premarital agreement and then presents it to the other party or his/her attorney. This scenario frequently results in an agreement biased in favor of the party whom the attorney represents, which may lead to misunderstandings and hurt feelings at a time when the couple really want to concentrate on their wedding plans and their future. Even under these circumstances, couples are frequently successful in finding middle ground if they have skilled and sensitive attorneys to guide them.

The Collaborative Premarital Agreement

When the collaborative principles are applied to the negotiation and preparation of premarital agreements, each party’s needs are addressed before a document is ever written. The couple and their respective attorneys meet to discuss their underlying concerns, interests and goals, and then the collaborative agreement is drafted and finalized.

While this approach may take a little more time, most couples find it to be a very enlightening experience that brings them closer together.

Contact Us

Phone: (949) 955-1678
Fax: (949) 752-8295
Email: contact@webbgordonlaw.com

Jennifer Webb Attorney at Law
3200 Park Center Drive, Ste. 220
Costa Mesa, CA 92626