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Divorce Options

Divorce Options In California

Many find it surprising, but there are actually seven different options for divorce in California.  Wherever you are located, you have choices.  The options range from quick and inexpensive to drawn-out, costly, and potentially destructive.  We’ve highlighted options to help you figure out what is the best solution for your situation.  Confluence is here to serve you in any of these settings.


Do-it-Yourself (DIY)

In this situation, an amicable couple is able to sit down and work out the details together: splitting of assets, payments, schedules for children, etc.  No lawyers are required.  In some locations, you also have the choice to fill in the paperwork yourself or hire professionals that are neither lawyers nor paralegals to do it for you.



The mediator serves as a neutral third party to facilitate a private negotiation.  As a neutral party, the mediator guides you through the process but does not offer any legal advice, maintaining objectivity.  However, mediators are helpful in that they are able to present options for you to choose.  Confluence is able to work neutrally for both parties or for a single spouse.  

Collaborative Divorce

Both sides are represented by their own team of professionals to assist them through the process, meeting all of their needs.  In addition to each side having an attorney, they may also benefit from other professionals present in the negotiations, such as a neutral financial expert (used by both spouses), coaches, and even mental health professionals.  This option is also done in a private setting.


Arbitration is closer to litigation than the first three options listed above which tend to be less contentious. Here, both sides present their cases to a third party that independently comes to a decision that is legally binding.  Those entering arbitration do so with the expectation that it is quicker and less costly than litigation.  


Private Family Law Judge

The parties pay a highly experienced former family law attorney or former judge for his/her time.  This is another private option, done in a more comfortable environment, out of the public court system.  An advantage is speed, as the judge is able to dedicate focused time to your case.  Although it is costly, you can potentially save money here if you expect your case would be tied up for an extended period in the public courts.  This option is available in some states, like California.  


Bargaining in the Shadow of Litigation

The divorce proceeds with opposing lawyers, and lots of back and forth, but is ultimately settled without going to court.  This option can be quite costly, and often falls to couples who may be unaware of all their options.  



The vast majority of couples resolve their divorces without going to court.  However, a small amount go to court, which tends to be very costly and time-consuming.  Here, one spouse is sued by the other and a judge decides the outcome. The desired result is rarely obtained through litigation.

The Confluence Difference

Our firm is built on the principles of honesty, integrity, and objective decision-making.  From legacy planning to tax advisory, and all financial aspects of divorce, we have everything you need to simplify your life… all in one place.  Confluence is the only multi-family office dedicated to divorce.

Why Choose Confluence

We Inspire Long-Term Financial Success

When you consider divorce, or if you know someone who is contemplating divorce, two of the largest determinants for a successful future are the financial settlement and follow through of your decree post-divorce.

Our Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™, Brett Cicinelli is a visionary developer of optimal financial settlements, taking factual details, client goals, and needs into account, leading a charge toward a positive change in how people deal with finances during divorce.

Brett brings over two decades of financial and analytical experience to work for clients.  He teaches a post-graduate course on Alternative Investing Strategies. Brett also earned the designations of Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Financial Planner® (CFP®), Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® (CDFA®), and Master Analyst in Financial Forensics® (MAFF®).

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