Full-Team Collaborative Practice: Diverse Expertise Provides Best Value

Working together as a team Collaborative Practice professionals can provide your family invaluable assistance. Members pictured (left to right): Shawn Weber, Meredith Lewis, Frann Setzer, Anna Janda, Anna Addleman." width="800" height="589" /> The San Diego "Divorce Options team (L to R): Shawn Weber, Meredith Lewis, Frann Setzer, Anna Janda, Anna Addleman.

by Shawn Weber, Certified Family Law Specialist
Weber Dispute Resolution, Solana Beach, California

Working together as a team Collaborative Practice professionals can provide your family invaluable assistance. Members pictured (left to right): Shawn Weber, Meredith Lewis, Frann Setzer, Anna Janda, Anna Addleman." width="800" height="589" /></a> The San Diego "Divorce Options team (L to R): Shawn Weber, Meredith Lewis, Frann Setzer, Anna Janda, Anna Addleman.

Working together as a team Collaborative Practice professionals can provide your family invaluable assistance. Members pictured (left to right): Shawn Weber, Meredith Lewis, Frann Setzer, Anna Janda, Anna Addleman.” width=”800″ height=”589″ /> The San Diego “Divorce Options team (L to R): Shawn Weber, Meredith Lewis, Frann Setzer, Anna Janda, Anna Addleman.

The Full-Team Collaborative Divorce Process

Collaborative Practice is an excellent way to resolve difficult disputes including issues surrounding divorce or separation. In a Collaborative Divorce, parties hire specially trained attorneys who enter inter into a written agreement with the parties th

CFLGSD member Shawn Weber is the new president of Collaborative Practice California.

CFLGSD member Shawn Weber is the new president of Collaborative Practice California.

at the attorneys will never go to court. In addition, the parties recruit mental health professionals

 

to act as coaches for each of the parties to help with the difficult emotions in the case. They hire a neutral financial specialist to help with the money issues and a child specialist to serve as a voice for the children. If the case veers towards litigation, the team withdraws.

By removing the specter of court, parties can focus on positive solutions instead of adversarial bickering. Collaborative Practice is a great way to get a divorce without wasting the family nest egg and without screwing up the kids.

It’s a great process and provides maximum support to the parties from a broad range of professional perspectives. However, the most frequent concern I hear from clients and professionals when contemplating a collaborative process involves the cost. While collaborative divorce is certainly less expensive than litigation, it can be more expensive than some other out-of-court options. Furthermore, the more experts and professionals are involved, the more complicated and challenging it can be to manage all the moving parts.

 

Collaborative Practice Saves Families Money with Specialization

The complaint about the complexity and cost of a full team misses the most important point about why Collaborative Practice is so great. In a full-team Collaborative Divorce, the parties achieve terrific economies of scale through specialization. This means that you save money and get better value from your process because you are paying the best people for the best work for the best price.

For example, most lawyers went to law school because they were not math majors. You probably don’t want to have a lawyer as your financial specialist. However, attorneys tend to have then highest billing rates. So why would you pay the most expensive person to not do the best work when it comes to financial analysis? That’s where the financial specialist comes in. She has specific expertise in divorce finances and bills the appropriate market billing rate for her services. Instead of wasting money with the attorney to get bad financial advice, use the financial specialist to get better information for less money. That’s a win-win.

Similarly, when I did litigation, clients who were rightfully stressed out about how to interact with their estranged spouse would try to use me as a mental health professional. But, newsflash, I am not a mental health professional and am not qualified to provide that type of work. Although I am good at working with people, nothing replaces that expertise and knowledge of a trained mental health professional when dealing with the emotions of divorce.

Rather than paying the attorney to do subpar mental health work, you hire the mental health professional for his expertise in providing the best coaching or child specialist service for the best price. Again, that’s value to you and to your family. What’s more, you get a level of diverse professional support that is simply not available in any other process. Your kids and your finances will thank you.

This is refreshing for the lawyer, because now she can do what she does best: the legal work. Use the lawyer to understand the law and get the advice you need to enter a valid, enforceable and informed agreement. Because the lawyer is in the room and on your side, you know you have a settlement minded attorney who’s got your back at the negotiation table.

Diversity Provides Strength in Collaborative Practice

Remember, the great strength of Collaborative Practice is the diversity of professionals. The very fact that you have a full team of professionals looking at your case from diverse backgrounds and professional specialties gives your family the best chance of transitioning with the best possible information and support for the very best value. It protects your kids, your pocketbook and your dignity.

 

Shawn Weber: Swimming With the Sharks or Dolphins?

What type of attorney do you want to help you navigate your divorce? Collaborative Family Law Group of San Diego member Shawn Weber describes his view of attorney styles in an interview on “Real Talk San Diego” heard on ESPN Radio 1700 AM. See a video of the interview here.

Listen to the full interview featuring Shawn’s insights on Alternative Dispute Resolution and divorce mediation including Collaborative Divorce in the Soundcloud podcast here.

Collaborative Divorce featured Thursday, Aug 18 on Real Talk San Diego Radio

San Diego based family law attorney Shawn Weber, member of the Collaborative Family Law Group of San Diego, will talk about Collaborative Divorce and other family law issues during his upcoming appearance on the ESPN 1700 AM Radio program “Real Talk San Diego” with hosts Ryan White and Karen Kaseno on Thursday, August 18, at 1 p.m.

Shawn will discuss the advantage of a Collaborative Divorce over a litigated divorce, and the reasons your family will benefit, especially if you have minor children. Shawn Weber flyer

You can listen online on the Real Talk San Diego website.

Collaborating From Afar On Collaborative Divorce Cases

Long distance Collaborative Practice can work effectively with the right team and approach.

Long distance Collaborative Practice can work effectively with the right team and approach.

by Meredith G. Lewis, CLS-F, CDFA

In most Collaborative Divorce cases, the parties and professional team members reside and work in the same city, and are able to have in person meetings throughout the process. What if a situation arises when one of the parties, or even one of the chosen professional team members, lives in another city, state or country? Is a Collaborative Divorce case even possible under this scenario? Depending on the circumstances of the case, it is absolutely possible.

Based on the success of a recent Collaborative case, my colleagues and team members Shawn Weber, CLS-F, Anna Addleman, CPA, CDFA, and Robert A. Simon, Ph.D will offer tips in our upcoming presentation titled “Collaborating From Afar: Strategies For Overcoming Obstacles in Long Distance Collaborative Cases” at the Collaborative Practice California (CP Cal) “Celebration XI” conferencein Redwood City, California in late April.

(L to R) Anna Addleman, Shawn Weber, Robert Simon, and Meredith Lewis will discuss long distance Collaborative Cases at the upcoming Collaborative Practice California Celebration XI Conference.

(L to R) Anna Addleman, Shawn Weber, Robert Simon, and Meredith Lewis will discuss long distance Collaborative Cases at the upcoming Collaborative Practice California Celebration XI Conference.

With the availability of technology, if a party or team member is not local, he or she can still attend Collaborative Divorce meetings and be completely involved in the process. We had the wonderful opportunity to participate in a Collaborative case where one of the parties resides outside of the United States. Though the team and the parties have faced some challenges with the process, it has worked well, and has enabled the case to proceed using the Collaborative Process without requiring the spouse who lives in another country to travel to San Diego.

Our team has developed several requirements for assessing whether your long distance Collaborative Divorce case can be successful. Note, however, that these are based on our experience with only one case and, therefore, these criteria are evolving.

  • Use of Technology: The professional team and the party who resides outside of the area needs to be familiar with the necessary communication technology to be utilized. There are several programs such as GoToMeeting, WebEx or Citrix which allow a person to appear remotely at a meeting.
  • Ability to Cooperate: The parties have a reasonable level of mutual respect for one another or have the ability to communicate.
  • Professional Teamwork: The professional team must be cohesive and flexible.

There are also ethical dilemmas that should be addressed by the team the Collaborative Team should address:

  • Is there an advantage or disadvantage with one party appearing remotely?
  • Are there power imbalances that would make such a process ineffective?
  • Is it better to have the party participating remotely have a local mental health professional as a coach, or one who can attend the meeting in person?

Just as not all family law cases are appropriate for the Collaborative process, not all Collaborative Divorce cases are appropriate to be conducted remotely. Deciding the appropriateness requires a detailed review of the situation by the potential Collaborative Divorce team, and the willingness of the parties to understand and accept the benefits and drawbacks of the remote model. However, geography alone does not necessarily have to be a bar to a successful Collaborative Divorce case.

Concerned whether your long distance divorce can be resolved using the Collaborative Process model? Contact the Collaborative Family Law Group of San Diego at 858-472-4022 to discuss your questions and schedule a consultation. Or attend one of our free “Divorce Options” seminars the first Saturday of every month from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at the Scripps Ranch Civic Association Community Center. To reserve your space, email sandiegodivorceoptions@gmail.com

Top Four Reasons Why You Should Hire a Divorce Financial Specialist

by Shawn Weber, CLS-F
Attorney, Weber Dispute Resolution

There are so many financial implications to divorce, it is best to work with a financial professional on your side.

There are so many financial implications to divorce, it is best to work with a financial professional on your side.

In my years as a Collaborative Divorce practitioner, folks have asked me why they should spend the money to hire a Financial Specialist as part of their divorce team. A financial specialist is an excellent resource, who can bring a neutral financial perspective to a legal process. Here are my top four reasons why it makes TONS of sense to hire a financial specialist as part of your divorce team:

  1. It’s Usually Not a Good Idea to Ask a Lawyer for Financial Advice. Most went to law school instead of getting an MBA for a very good reason. I, for one, went to law school so I could avoid math. (Ironically, I do math all the time anyway). I know there are exceptions, but we attorneys are generally not trained to be financial advisors. Yet many of our clients ask us to play that role.
  2. You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know. There are so many financial implications to the decisions you are about to make regarding your property, cash flow and debt. Why not get with a professional who knows the questions you may not know to ask. As an attorney, I am grateful when a financial specialist points out a tax pitfall that I may not have known about.
  3. Your Spouse May Trust the Neutral Financial Specialist More Than You. Let’s face it. You’re getting a divorce and often trust can be an issue when a divorce is happening. Don’t worry! You don’t need to have trust. Let the Financial Specialist digest all of the financial data into a digestible format. This gives your spouse less reason to be distrustful because a neutral third party helped assemble the information. Increasing the trust factor saves money by preventing the need for costly forensics.
  4. You Have to Do a Financial Disclosure Anyway. Why Not Let the Financial Neutral Do This? In every California divorce, a full and complete financial disclosure is required. You can pay your attorney at his exorbitant rate to put the disclosures together, or you can have a financial professional take care of this part. You’ll spend less money and get better work.

The temptation is to assume that hiring more professionals costs more. But, often the opposite is true. Just like any mechanic will tell you, use the correct tool for the correct job. The Financial Specialist is the best tool to use when considering the financial aspects of your divorce.

Del Mar Times: Solana Beach lawyer named president for statewide group

Del Mar Times collaborative divorce Shawn Weber

Del Mar Times collaborative divorce Shawn Weber

Attorney Shawn Weber, a former president and active member of the Collaborative Family Law Group of San Diego, received coverage in the Del Mar Times/Solana Beach Sun as he assumes the presidency of Collaborative Practice California, the statewide association for Collaborative Practice.

Shawn is one of several members who plays a significant professional leadership role in his or her field. Learn more about Shawn and his work in the article or see below.

Del Mar Times collaborative divorce Shawn Weber

 

Shawn Weber Takes California Collaborative Law Leadership Role

CFLGSD member Shawn Weber is the new president of Collaborative Practice California.

Contact: Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR / 619-997-2495 or gayle@falconvalleygroup.com

Weber installed as 2015-2016 President of Collaborative Practice California

(SAN DIEGO) – San Diego family law attorney Shawn Weber, CLS-F, member and past

CFLGSD member Shawn Weber is the new president of Collaborative Practice California.

CFLGSD member Shawn Weber is the new president of Collaborative Practice California.

president of the Collaborative Family Law Group of San Diego, was installed as president of Collaborative Practice California (CP Cal), the statewide organization for Collaborative Practice groups, at its annual conference in Los Angeles, California on Saturday, April 25.

Individual members of the practice groups included Collaborative lawyers, mental health practitioners, financial specialists, and other professionals. The Collaborative Process is being used in divorce and family law, domestic partnerships, same sex marriages, employment law, probate law, construction and real property law, malpractice, and other civil law areas.

CP Cal’s mission is to unify, strengthen and support the Collaborative Practice community and to increase public awareness of the Collaborative Process throughout California.

“Divorce is a human experience, not just a legal process,” said Weber. “Collaborative Practice through CP Cal represents a significant shift in our approach toward resolving civil disputes including divorce. The litigation model doesn’t have to be the first choice. In a divorce, we help people resolve their issues without harming each other or their children. We help them arrive at options that preserve the long-term interest of the family.

“My goal during my term as CP Cal Board President is to foster communication about the many benefits of Collaborative Divorce and to encourage more legal, financial, and mental health professionals to embrace this philosophy as a possible solution for their clients,” said Weber.

For nearly 20 years, Weber has worked exclusively in the area of family law. In that time, he has proven to be a skilled advocate and attorney, as well as an adroit negotiator and mediator. He is especially skilled at resolving difficult divorce, alimony, child support, custody, and visitation issues in an unthreatening and confidential environment through mediation, with a success rate of 98 percent.

A dolphin instead of a shark, Weber specializes in helping clients reach agreements and avoid the heartache and stress of court. He uses his ingenuity, creativity, warmth and skill to craft better outcomes instead of threats or intimidation, in a process tailored to the client, not the legal system.

Weber started with the Solana Beach based law firm of Brave, Weber & Mack in 1999. Just a few years later, he became the firm’s managing attorney. In this role, he has grown the firm from a small solo practice to a full service firm. In 2006, he also became a Partner and CFO of the firm and is trusted with the firm’s day-to-day financial management.

Weber served on the Collaborative Family Law Group of San Diego board from 2005 to 2013 and served as its President in 2009. He is also currently a member the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. Weber has been a member of the San Diego County Bar Association, Family Law Section since 2001 and is currently a member of the San Diego Family Law Bar Association. He received his law degree at the University of San Diego School of Law, and earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and Germanic Studies at Indiana University. He is the father of five children and lives in El Cajon.

About the Collaborative Family Law Group of San Diego

CFLG San Diego’s members work together to learn, practice, and promote collaborative processes for problem solving and the peaceful resolution of family law issues, with an eye toward preserving the emotional, as well as the financial, assets of the family. Its goal is to transform the resolution of family law issues through respectful, collaborative processes that protect the integrity and health of family relationships and eliminate the need for families to resort to litigation.

CFLG is online at www.collaborativefamilylawsandiego.com, and LinkedIn at http://bit.ly/LinkedIn-CFLGSanDiego

Reducing Reactivity in High Conflict Divorce

Divorce and Fighting, Boxing Gloves

Collaborative Family Law Group of San Diego member Shawn Weber, attorney with Brave Weber & Mack, offers helpful tips for reducing conflict in this video presentation. Weber points out that even in a High Conflict Divorce, courts cannot always address all slights and grievances.

Within the structure of a Collaborative Divorce where the parties are committed to a resolution of their issues without going to court, these tips provide tools to de-escalate any conflicts that could appear.

Collaborative law featured on ESPN 1700 Radio

Real Estate Radio on ESPN AM 1700 San Diego

Collaborative Family Law Group of San Diego member attorney Shawn Weber, Certified Family Real Estate Radio on ESPN AM 1700 San DiegoLaw Specialist with Brave Weber Mack, discussed the Collaborative approach to divorce during a recent guest appearance on “The Real Estate Radio Hour” on ESPN Radio 1700 AM with host Ryan White.

Weber pointed out that recent budget cutbacks to California’s family law court system makes it much more difficult, time consuming, and expensive to pursue a divorce via litigation, making the Collaborative approach to divorce a better choice for many families.

Hear the entire interview with Shawn via the link below.

ESPN Radio 1700 AM Features “Divorce Options” Discussion

Real Estate Radio on ESPN AM 1700 San Diego

Collaborative Family Law Group of San Diego member Shawn Weber, Certified Family Real Estate Radio on ESPN AM 1700 San DiegoLaw Specialist attorney with Brave Weber Mack, recently appeared as a guest on “The Real Estate Radio Hour” on ESPN Radio 1700 AM to talk about the new “Divorce Options” program. Weber reviewed the different choices facing families when considering divorce, and explained how the new workshop program helps individuals understand the options and the differences among them.

Hear the entire interview with Shawn at this link.