Walnut Creek, California (EastBayDaily) — Divorce mediation Attorney Michele McInaney is joining colleagues from Collaborative Practice East Bay to facilitate less stressful, less costly divorces for couples in Contra Costa and Alameda counties.
McInaney, who serves clients who want to avoid going to court, has been practicing family law exclusively since 1986 and has been voted by San Jose Magazine as one of the top divorce mediators in the Silicon Valley.
“Divorce does not have to be an adversarial fight to the death with your soon-to-be-ex spouse. There is another choice,” said McInaney, who was an early adopter of both mediation and collaborative practice models to help divorcing couples avoid adversarial proceedings that can often be protracted and cost upwards of $20,000.
“With the right support, the divorce journey can be navigated in a respectful, civil, efficient and far less costly manner,” said McInaney. She and her collaborative practice colleagues provide comprehensive, customized guidance for clients in Walnut Creek, Danville, Alamo, other parts of Contra Costa county and Alameda County.”
McInaney trained with internationally known mediation teacher and attorney Gary Friedman nearly two decades ago and saw early on in her legal career the value of bringing parties together in a peaceful, structured manner to develop marital settlement agreements.
“After my own adversarial divorce, which was very costly and stressful, I vowed to help others avoid the pain and suffering I had endured,” said McInaney. “I learned the hard way that divorce does not have to be an adversarial win-lose battle. There is another choice. Couples can use the structure of mediation or collaborative practice to get the right support, share knowledge and collectively work toward agreement.
“Even though it is often painful and difficult, keeping the lines of communication open is very important. If you and your spouse are unable to meet in the same room with a professionally trained mediator, consider the relatively new collaborative practice model, in which you both retain attorneys. In this model, it may be possible to bring you, your attorney, your spouse and your spouse’s attorney together to begin working toward an agreement,” she explained.
Attorneys who specialize in mediation and collaborative practice have the training to help couples navigate the difficult journey of divorce in a more private, peaceful, efficient and cost effective manner. Both processes eliminate the win/lose paradigm and replace that with a process in which the parties reach a mutual agreement.
With an experienced and well-trained collaborative practice attorney you will also have access to a team of experts (financial experts, divorce coaches, and child specialists) — at a cost that doesn’t break your bank. With this well-honed team at your side, you and your spouse can cover a lot of ground: including child custody and child support (which mediation and collaborative practice specialists prefer to call co-parenting); co-parenting schedules; health insurance coverage; property division; and financial issues such as possible tax consequences and spousal support, and the complex emotional issues that are often at the core of the divorce journey.
Both mediation and collaborative practice share the principles that guide all good conflict resolution: 1) you agree to forgo the traditional adversarial proceedings 2) you don’t set out to capitalize on the mistakes of your spouse 3) you agree to get everything out in the open 4) you agree to keep appropriate information confidential 4) and you agree to work with your spouse in a respectful, collaborative process that inevitably leads to stronger co-parenting relationships moving forward.
“When couples come to me for consultation to learn more about their options, I like to use the acronym P-E-A-C-E to explain how a non-adversarial process might work for them,” explained McInaney.
P= Persevere: You and your spouse can persevere toward a solution that is win/win for both of you.
E= Empathy: You and your spouse can enter a divorce process that enables you to think about and have empathy for your spouse and stand in your spouse’s shoes.
A= Action: You and your spouse can move through a divorce without blaming or rehashing the past. You can take consistent forward-thinking action to find a solution that works for both of you.
C= Collaboration: You and your spouse can work with together – and with a team of professionals (lawyers, financial professionals, child psychologists, and divorce coaches) and avoid the court room altogether.
E= Energy: You and your spouse can direct your energy toward finding a bridge to the future for you and your children.
About Michele and her practice
Michele McInaney has practiced mediation and family law exclusively since 1986. She is currently a practicing divorce mediation attorney in Walnut Creek, CA. She and her collaborative practice colleagues also serve clients Contra Costa and Alameda counties. She incorporates both mediation and collaborative practice as tools to help couples work cooperatively to resolve issues and dissolve their marriage, without going to court. Michele was an early adopter of mediation for divorce and was trained by attorney Gary Friedman, who founded The Center for Law and Mediation in Mill Valley, CA. Michele has been voted by San Jose magazine as one of the best mediation attorneys in the Silicon Valley. For More information about Michele and her practice visit. You can also reach Michele by phone at 925-932-7026 or at her . Walnut Creek Divorce Mediation office. She offers free consultations to discuss which process might be best for you and your spouse.