Mediation & Collaborative

Mediation and Collaborative Divorce


Our decades of practicing family law in San Diego have demonstrated that all parties involved in a divorce have a few things in common – typically, they want the process to move as quickly as possible and to make sure the outcome is in the best interest of their children. Through alternative dispute resolution methods – collaborative divorce and divorce mediation – we are able to ensure a more private, less time consuming, more collegial and lower cost road to resolution.

Since the inception of Schaffer Family Law Group, we have been known for our honesty and integrity, and if we believe we can effectively employ an alternate dispute resolution method in your divorce, we will not take the case to trial. Undoubtedly, it is in the collective best interest of all parties to resolve and agree to divorce terms without litigation, as it gives both parties more control over the process, reduces conflict, saves time and money for both parties, and tends to be less disruptive for the family in general. However, if trial becomes unavoidable, we are always ready and able to aggressively advocate in San Diego family court on your behalf.

Collaborative Divorce in San Diego


What is it?

In a collaborative divorce, both parties file a legal stipulation agreeing to resolve their differences privately without the involvement of the court.

How does it work?

Both parties are still guided by their own family law attorney who is specifically trained in collaborative divorce.

Are others involved?

Sometimes, the parties are also supported by other collaboratively trained professionals, which may include divorce coaches, financial specialists, family law mediators and other child and family law specialists.

Divorce Mediation


Divorce mediation is when a professional mediator serves as a neutral third party, assisting the couple in negotiating and reaching an agreement. A divorce mediation results in a settlement agreement that outlines the terms of the divorce the couple has agreed upon, including how property and debt will be divided, child support, spousal support, (alimony) and child custody and visitation.

Collaborative divorce or divorce mediation may take just one session, or a few sessions before a final agreement is reached. After reviewing your particular matter and the needs of your family, we will recommend a divorce option we believe to be in your family’s best interest, but ultimately, you will decide how you would like us to proceed. We are here to serve you and to help you resolve critical life issues for the best possible resolution for your family’s future.

Certified Family Law Specialists (CFLS)


Our San Diego team of family law attorneys, particularly Certified Family Law Specialists Sarah Schaffer, and Leslie Ryland (the 2020 Chair of Collaborative Practice San Diego), have extensive training and experience in collaborative divorce and divorce mediation, and are ready to guide you down the path that makes the most sense for you and your family.