Process Options

I will advise you on your legal entitlements and the best process options for you and your family, and I will work with you every step of the way to generate the best strategy and approach to meet your needs.

Traditional Negotiation

In a traditional negotiation, each party is represented by their own counsel, and counsel works together to try to resolve the family law matter.  It can be inefficient, and can involve voluminous letters going back and forth, and adversarial threats, including the threat of court.  There is no guarantee the process will be successful, and in many cases, a court action is brought when negotiations break down.


Mediation and arbitration are both private, out-of-court processes aimed at resolving family law issues.

In mediation, the parties agree to negotiate their family law issues with the assistance of a trained, neutral mediator.  The process can be done with the assistance of counsel, whereby both the parties and their lawyers attend mediation, or without.  The goal is to negotiate the terms of a comprehensive separation agreement, though this can only occur if both parties agree and the mediator’s role is only to assist the parties in this regard and not impose any kind of outcome.

Arbitration is akin to a privately-funded court process, such that the parties argue their cases and the arbitrator makes a binding decision that is enforceable as a court order.  The arbitrator often has the power to award costs, i.e. that the unsuccessful party pay some portion of the successful party’s legal fees.  Arbitration usually occurs with the assistance of counsel.

Because mediation and arbitration are private and confidential processes, they may appeal to parties who wish to keep their family law issues and personal details out of the public realm.



The distinguishing feature of the family law litigation process is that ultimately a judge is responsible for making orders with respect to the family law issues.  This involves the parties arguing their cases and the judge ultimately making a decision.  Family law litigation is a public process which means that court documents filed, as well as written judicial decisions, are public record.  Family law litigation also involves cost consequences, which usually means that the losing party pays for some portion of the successful party’s legal fees.

Collaborative Process

The collaborative process is a unique alternative dispute resolution process that is designed to provide parties with the best possible chance of resolving their family law issues out of court.  They sign a Participation Agreement at the outset of the process in which they specifically agree not to go to court and to work collaboratively to address the issues arising from their separation in a way that benefits the family holistically.

The process involves a collaborative team, which includes collaborative lawyers for each party, and a family and/or financial professional, who assist with and weigh in on parenting and financial issues, respectively.  It is structured around a series of meetings where issues are discussed and options for settlement are considered, which helps streamline the process and ensure time is spent as efficiently as possible. The result is a high quality agreement that addresses the parties’ unique goals and interests.  Because the parties have had such active involvement in the process, they are typically much more satisfied with the outcome than they would be with an outcome achieved in an alternative process.

My job is to take care of the stressful, legal and logistical elements of your separation, so that you can focus on healing and moving forward. I want you to leave our interactions feeling more hopeful and at ease.

I will advise you on your legal entitlements and the best process options for you and your family, and I will work with you every step of the way to generate the best strategy and approach to meet your needs.

I will provide you with regular, detailed invoices so that you’re never in the dark with respect to fees. I am always focused on how best to move your matter forward so that your matter is resolved promptly and is never prolonged unnecessarily.

I will work on crafting the best possible family law resolution for you and your family, by partnering with you as an active participant in the process. I know the law, but you know your family best. For this reason, I will always welcome your feedback and thoughts in the negotiation process.


“Whitney has been incredible through my entire separation and divorce process. She is kind, caring and talks to me like a real human. I so appreciate her hard work, patience and understanding.”