Approaches to Divorce: Mediation, Collaboration and Litigation

By on April 10, 2015 | Category: Blog | Tags: , , , , , , |
Approaches to Divorce: Mediation, Collaboration and Litigation

Are you thinking about options for your divorce? Are you afraid of a judge making the final decisions about your divorce, or are you concerned your children’s future won’t be taken into account? There are three common approaches to divorce and family law matters including mediation, collaboration and litigation that can each help alleviate your concerns and help you work through the many issues that arise during a divorce.


Mediation is a “No-Court” divorce alternative. The mediator drafts all California court paperwork including financial disclosures, child custody and support agreements, spousal support agreements and a final marital settlement agreement with Judgment documents.

A neutral party, usually an attorney, helps both spouses reach agreements on issues related to the divorce. A mediator does not represent either spouse; their job is to provide you with information on the law upon which both spouses will base their decisions or agreements. When you have difficulty reaching agreements, the mediator works with both parties to try to resolve the disagreements.

Usually, mediation is less costly than a litigated divorce case.

Also known as collaborative divorce, this is a process where both spouses agree to not go to court and settle all issues related to the divorce outside of court.

Using this process, divorcing couples, along with their attorneys and other professionals, such as coaches, work together to resolve the issues related to their divorce. If the process is successful, no one has to go to court to finalize the divorce, and the decision regarding the important issues in the divorce are made jointly between the parties — not the judge.

This approach gives couples the opportunity to work together to discuss approaches to co-parenting, visitation, financial support, division of assets and debts and other issues. However, discussions are held at four-way meetings including the husband, the wife and both attorneys.

This process can be less stressful, less lengthy and less costly than ongoing litigation. It also helps both individuals plan together for the future and needs of their children.

This is the method that most people think of when considering divorce. Both spouses have an attorney and motions are filed and court hearings are held to reach decisions in the case. This can be more costly than the other methods and both spouse have less input regarding how the issues are handled in the divorce.

Our law firm works to reach reasonable solutions without the emotional and financial cost of litigation when possible. However, sometimes litigation is not avoidable. If your divorce needs litigation, our attorneys advocate for your rights and provide you the sensitive counsel needed, all while fighting for your best interests. Whether you are in the beginning stages of a divorce case or you have a post judgment legal issue (such as enforcement of a court order of modification of a court order for child custody, child support or spousal support), our team can present your best case.

While not every approach works for every case, our team has experience in all three approaches. If you’re facing divorce or legal separation, our experienced legal team can advise you of your options and work with you to select an approach that best fits your needs. Contact our office to discuss your options.

Love Lives: Myrlys Stockdale Officiates Wedding Ceremony

By on June 27, 2014 | Category: Blog |
Love Lives: Myrlys Stockdale Officiates Wedding Ceremony

Managing Attorney Myrlys Stockdale officiated over her first wedding on June 21, 2014 in Roseville. California Family Code sections 420 to 426 set forth the requirements for couples who wish to be married by a friend or family member.

In California, there is no particular format required for the marriage ceremony (or the solemnization of the marriage). However, California requires that each party, in the presence of the wedding officiant and other witnesses, declare that they each take the other to be their spouse.

“When the bride asked if I could perform her wedding ceremony, I was unaware of the procedural requirements so I did my research, became ordained and was looking forward to the wedding,” said Stockdale.

Stockdale, who handles both prenuptial cases and divorce cases explained that “performing the wedding ceremony was such an uplifting experience, as newlyweds are so excited, hopeful and looking forward to planning their life together.”

Best wishes and congratulations to Ryan and Ronlyn George!

Please contact Stockdale Law Firm, Inc. if you are interested in having Ms. Stockdale officiate at your wedding.

10 Years Ago This Week

By on March 11, 2013 | Category: Blog | Tags: , , , , , , , , |
10 Years Ago This Week

It was 10 years ago that I obtained a business license for a law practice.

So much happened in my life which was the impetus for beginning this law firm. There were plenty of challenges, but I truly believe challenges are opportunities for success.

My opportunities began when I divorced in 1993, single mom with a 5 and 3 year old. It was an acrimonious divorce, with years of nasty custody and support litigation that took a toll on my children as well as myself. I wanted to create a better life for the kids and myself and I went to law school at night, while working during the day. Some days were 18 or more hour days in light of the distance from home to work and school.

Read more …

Your Family Law Questions Answered

By on January 2, 2013 | Category: Blog | Tags: , , , , |
Your Family Law Questions Answered

Got a legal question related to family law? The answers may be here.

Sacramento area family law specialist Myrlys Stockdale, of the Stockdale Law Firm, Inc., shares her answers to family law questions on the firm’s web page, and they are updated real time.

“I’m a featured divorce attorney on the website and I regularly answer divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support and other questions asked by people who need answers and who may not have immediate access to an attorney otherwise,” explained Stockdale.‘s “Ask a Lawyer” area allows consumers to ask legal questions of lawyers across the country and they are be categorized by area of practice such as family law, and by state.

“In this time where our California courts are impacted by budget and staff cuts but the need for services continually increases, it’s important to provide greater public access to the legal system, and this is just another way to do so,” said Stockdale.

Ms. Stockdale is a State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization Certified Family Law Specialist who handles matters in Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer and Amador counties. She is the managing attorney of the Stockdale Law Firm, Inc., in El Dorado Hills. She serves as a mediator, special master, collaborative divorce practitioner and a temporary judge.

You can view the questions and answers here:

Myrlys Stockdale Becomes Certified Family Law Specialist

By on July 11, 2012 | Category: Blog | Tags: , , , , , , , |
Myrlys Stockdale Becomes Certified Family Law Specialist

The State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization has just certified local attorney Myrlys Stockdale as a legal specialist in family law. Ms. Stockdale, 47, is the managing attorney of the marriage and family law firm Stockdale Law Firm, Inc., located in El Dorado Hills and serving clients for the past nearly 10 years.

She is a family law mediator, and serves as court-appointed special master and court-appointed minor’s counsel in the Sacramento area.

According to the State Bar of California website, “California attorneys who are certified as specialists have taken and passed a written examination in their specialty field, demonstrated a high level of experience in the specialty field, fulfilled ongoing education requirements and been favorably evaluated by other attorneys and judges familiar with their work.” Read more …

Our Local Real Estate Market May Surprise You

By on June 20, 2012 | Category: Blog | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |
Our Local Real Estate Market May Surprise You

Is it possible that the local housing market is starting to rebound? According to two local real estate professionals it is. “Now is a great time to sell your home in El Dorado Hills,” said Hillary Sand a real estate sales agent with ReMax Gold in El Dorado Hills. “We are seeing buyers offering competing, greater than full price offers on homes for sale and homes that are properly priced are selling within days.”

Sue Palmer, a loan agent with Summit Funding which recently opened an office in El Dorado Hills echoed this sentiment. “There really is no inventory for homebuyers right now.” Palmer, who handles all aspects of real estate finance explained that despite the lack of homes for sale for buyers, those that are in escrow are closing. “We’ve seen a 400% increase in the number of loans in the past two months (April and May) over the beginning of the year.” Read more …

Myrlys Stockdale Profiled in Local Newspaper

By on January 25, 2012 | Category: Blog |
Myrlys Stockdale Profiled in Local Newspaper

The El Dorado Hills Village Life Newspaper, created a special “Women in Business” edition which was published on January 25, 2012.

Among other businesswomen, Stockdale Law Firm, Inc. Managing Attorney Myrlys Stockdale was profiled in the special section.

“It’s always encouraging, especially in this challenging economy, to see so many dynamic women business owners and leaders in our community,” said Stockdale.

You can read/view the article on Stockdale here.

New Law: Teenagers Testifying in Custody Matters

By on January 3, 2012 | Category: Blog | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |
New Law: Teenagers Testifying in Custody Matters

This week (January 1, 2012 to be exact) marks the effective date of a new law allowing children 14 years or older to provide input on custody or visitation matters in family court.

Specifically, the amendments to Family Code Section 3042 provide that the 14 or older child “shall be permitted” to address the court unless the judge determines that doing so would not be in the child’s best interest.

There has been a great deal of discussion in the family law community about whether the potential benefit of child testimony outweighs the potential detriment to the child and the parent/child relationship. Read more …

Myrlys Stockdale Named Outstanding Women Leader Finalist

By on October 10, 2011 | Category: Blog |
Myrlys Stockdale Named Outstanding Women Leader Finalist

Myrlys Stockdale, Managing Attorney of the Stockdale Law Firm, Inc., has been named a finalist for the Outstanding Women Leaders (OWL) award.

The Sacramento Valley chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) will name the winners of the OWL awards at its 14th Annual Awards Gala on October 20, 2011. According to the NAWBO website, “this year’s nominees are the best of the best- amazing women leading small businesses, non-profits, and corporations; organizations that make our community a better place.” Read more …

Voted Best Lawyer in El Dorado Hills

By on April 27, 2011 | Category: Blog | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |
Voted Best Lawyer in El Dorado Hills

The Stockdale Law Firm is pleased to graciously accept the award of Best Lawyer/Law Firm in El Dorado Hills from the readers of the Village Life newspaper (in the April 27, 2011, Best of El Dorado Hills edition).

Our firm was founded by managing attorney Myrlys L. Stockdale in 2003. Since then, our presence in the El Dorado area has grown tremendously as has our fondness of the El Dorado Hills community we serve. Over the years, we have supported the El Dorado Hills Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club of El Dorado Hills, the El Dorado Hills Community Vision, Inc., the El Dorado Hills CSD, the El Dorado Hills Fire Department and many other local groups and events. Read more …

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