Wednesday, November 26, 2014

December Divorce Workshops

The November Divorce Workshop was such a big success that we are scheduling future workshops twice a month. The free December 2014 Divorce Workshops are scheduled for December 6 and 20, 2014. Please call Renata at 626-351-1200 to register as seating can be limited.


You are invited to attend from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., where Leslie Howell will educate you on the divorce process and options to make your case run more affordably, effectively and efficiently. You decide the process that is right for your family. You will learn the difference between litigation, mediation, collaborative divorce and much more.

The workshop is for anyone who:  is considering divorce, has begun the divorce or paternity process, has been going through the process and wants to understand it better, or has been through it and is considering a judgment modification. If you are considering hiring Leslie as your mediator, both spouses (or unmarried parents of minor children) should attend together.

The workshop will be held at 30 N. Raymond, Suite 707, in Old Town Pasadena between Colorado and Union.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Free Divorce Workshop in Pasadena

You are invited to attend a free divorce workshop on Saturday, November 22, 2014 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., where Leslie Howell will educate you on the divorce process and options to make it more affordable, effective and efficient. You decide the process that is right for your family. You will learn the difference between litigation, mediation, collaborative divorce and much more.


The workshop is for anyone who:  is considering divorce, has begun the divorce or paternity process, has been going through the process and wants to understand it better, or has been through it and is considering a judgment modification. If you are considering hiring Leslie as your mediator, both spouses (or unmarried parents of minor children) should attend together.


The workshop will be held at 30 N. Raymond, Suite 707, in Old Town Pasadena between Colorado and Union.


To register, call (626) 351-1200 and ask for Renata.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Updates to Leslie Howell at Amicable Divorce Services

Leslie Howell at Amicable Divorce Services is proud to update important information for you. During our transition to Amicable Divorce Services, we moved. Please update your contact information:


225 S. Lake Avenue, Suite 300
Pasadena, CA  91101


(626) 351-1200



www.pasadenamediationlawyer.com


We provide free initial consultations for the purpose of introducing you to the divorce process and various options to proceed. However, if you wish to receive legal advice about your case, then there will be a charge of $300 per hour for those services. Call Renata at (626) 351-1200 to schedule an initial consultation. Se habla EspaƱol.   NOTE:   If you are considering Leslie Howell as a mediator, then both partners need to be present at the initial consultation.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Change of Address

PLEASE NOTE THAT EFFECTIVE JUNE 10, 2013, MEDIATOR AND COLLABORATIVE LAWYER, LESLIE K. HOWELL, HAS CHANGED HER ADDRESS TO:

LESLIE K. HOWELL
AMICABLE DIVORCE SERVICES
225 SOUTH LAKE AVENUE, SUITE 300
PASADENA, CA  91101

(626) 351-1200
www.pasadenamediationlawyer.com

SETTING THE TONE FOR A NEW CASE

When one or both spouses decide that the marriage has ended, it is imperative that a peaceful tone is set from the very beginning if settlement is the goal. In my opinion, when a client retains a collaborative lawyer for a potential collaborative case and the other spouse does not have an attorney, it is the duty of the collaborative lawyer to reach out to the other spouse and offer the collaborative process and some web sites that may be helpful to educate themselves on the process. This must be done before the Petition is filed. If the Petition is filed first, positions are set forth on the Petition and the Responding spouse may react with the fight or flight reaction. Frequently when the other spouse is served with a Petition, they become afraid, angry and confused. Our job as collaborative professionals is to attempt to alleviate those feelings right off the bat. Generally speaking, the Petition should not be filed until it is determined whether the case will indeed be collaborative or a different process.

Personally, I write an amicable letter to the other spouse explaining the collaborative process in a concise nutshell, and I offer websites for collaborative groups which list other collaborative professionals to consult with.

Most importantly, filing the Petition before making attempts with the other spouse to choose the collaborative process can destroy any chances of the case being collaborative. So if you hire a collaborative lawyer in the hopes of using this process, make sure that your attorney has reached out to the other person at least twice in a friendly manner to give the other spouse a chance to research the process and interview some collaborative professionals before filing a Petition.

Note that if you do not hire a frequently trained collaborative professional, then they may not have made the change in their attitude from bulldog litigator to peacemaking collaborative teammate. This too can prevent the case from being amicable and end up costing tens of thousands more in attorneys' fees. From my experience, many bulldog litigators do not have the ability to work on a peaceful team due to their desire to fight to win, rather than defuse the situation and do what is best for the entire family.

For more information, schedule an initial consultation with Leslie K. Howell by calling 626-351-1200.

Friday, December 21, 2012

10 Courthouses Closing in LA County; Another Reason to Avoid Court Like the Plague

In Spring 2012, we saw numerous courtrooms close, such as the family law courtroom in Burbank, Dept. C. The family law cases in Burbank were all transferred to the two Pasadena family law courtrooms. These court closures mean more backlog for the remaining courtrooms and filing clerks. The court system in Los Angeles County was already fighting backlog and large daily court calendars/dockets, but with the state budget cuts in 2012, it will be more difficult for everyone: parties, judges, court clerks, attorneys, etc. For those people facing a divorce or custody matter, now is definitely not a good time to schedule court appearances, which are necessary in litigation.

What are the alternatives to litigating in the court system? Parties can opt for mediation, co-mediation or the collaborative process. These processes will be much quicker and far less expensive than going to court. Learn more by visiting www.pasadenamediationlawyer.com and these processes can be explained more in-depth at a free initial consultation at Amicable Divorce Services, (626) 351-1200.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Choosing Your Mediator

There are a few decisions you will need to make in order to settle your case. Besides what method to use (such as co-mediation, mediation and collaborative law), you will need to make sure that you and your mediator and/or lawyer are a good fit. Experience, training and a passion for settlement are all qualities to look for. If you have children, you may want to know whether your mediator has raised any children. In addition, you may have an idea of what you are looking for in a peacemaker, and then change your mind because you have found someone who is a good fit in other ways. For instance, you feel at ease and trust her. This could very well be the most important factor above all others.

Another factor to keep in mind is whether your peacemaker still litigates. Her answer may change your mind. Maybe you want a professional who only mediates and practices collaborative law. This may show that the professional has dedicated her life to the peacemaking process. On the other hand, you may want someone who still litigates because they are in the trenches and may know what the current trends are in the courtrooms. They may also have a working experience with your judge and know her or his quirks. That way, your mediator or collaborative professional may be able to lend a little insight as to what might happen if you were to appear in that courtroom.

Maybe you have a case with no assets and debts. Or you have substantial assets and debts. Different professionals have different experiences or choose to accept certain financial levels. I am an example of a peacemaker who has been trained in high profile cases, but I choose to resolve lower and mid-income disputes. Remember, this is your mediation or collaborative process. You need to make sure that you choose the right professionals for your family to guide you through each step of the process.