Carlsbad Family Law Attorneys

How to Have a Peaceful Separation

Spouses considering divorce have essentially two options: 1) They can each hire a divorce attorney and battle it out for a bigger piece of the pie, or 2) The couple can engage in mediation to discuss matters cooperatively.

While divorce can be time-consuming and costly, mediation tends to be ideal for couples who don’t want too much conflict as they separate.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is growing in popularity as an alternative option to divorce. Whereas divorce can involve fierce battles over money and children, divorce mediation allows for more creative arguments. A mediator is a neutral party who helps the couple find an amicable solution. A mediator may or may not be a lawyer, but he or she will be well-versed in all matters of family law.

While it is always advisable for both you and your spouse to speak to a qualified attorney in order to get a fair shake as you separate from your spouse, mediation is a more collaborative affair than family court tends to be.

Here are the pros and cons of mediation so that you can decide if this method of dissolving your marriage is right for you.

Pros of Mediation

A More Flexible Process

The divorce court is incredibly formal. You are beholden to certain rules as you and your spouse are presided over by a family law Judge. With both parties hiring ambitious divorce lawyers, the divorce court can quickly devolve into an arguing match, where few truly win.

With mediation, you and your spouse have more freedom to dictate the terms you prefer in your divorce. The purpose is to allow each party to evaluate their many choices so a compromising settlement can be reached. Whether you and your spouse are discussing matters relating to assets, money, or children, you can creatively craft agreements that are in the best interests of all involved, including any children you two share.

Save Time & Money

Some divorce court battles last for years, contributing wildly to the couple’s expenses and emotional turmoil. Divorce lawyers can be expensive, not to mention all the court and associated fees you have to pay when opting for divorce court. The added time and investment often leaves couples emotionally and financially drained after the divorce decree has been signed.

Mediation is designed to be simpler, with some sessions lasting days instead of weeks or months. You will also save loads of money that would otherwise be spent on legal fees and expenses when selecting mediation over the divorce. With some divorces, the hiring of forensic psychologists and accountants, along with other special witnesses, can add even more financial strain to the divorce process. Mediation allows you and the other party to do away with all the litigation to get right down to the basics for an amicable resolution.

Improved Communication

A mediator is trained to build up communication between you and your spouse. The goal is understanding and compromise. By the time mediation is complete, you and your spouse should have a clearer framework for how to move on with your lives, and hold up communication post-divorce, particularly if there are children involved.

Cooperation is what makes mediation so much different than divorce. Couples who choose this option tend to maintain more positive relationships after the marriage has been dissolved.

Cons of Mediation

Not Ideal if Complications Exist

Mediation is best for couples who want a fair, fast and compromising marriage dissolution. If you and your spouse can’t agree on a thing, mediation may not be for you. You may also find mediation troublesome if you and your spouse constantly argue or can’t come to a resolution on matters related to finances, assets, children, and taxes, among other considerations.

No Good for Couples Experiencing Violence

If domestic violence, spousal abuse or child abuse has ever plagued the relationship, mediation may not work for your situation. Mediation requires both couples to be fair and level-headed, which can’t be the case if fists have ever flown and one of you has ever been physically hurt by the other. When domestic violence has reared its ugly head, a divorce attorney may be needed to ensure safety and a fair outcome as the marriage is dissolved.

Couples Living with Deceit May Get an Unfair Shake

Jan is divorcing Steve and finds out what he was hiding assets during the marriage. Jan only discovered this because her divorce lawyer knew to do some digging. Unfortunately, hidden assets are a common occurrence for many divorce cases.

If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets, mediation may not be the proper method for separating from your spouse. Unless you are willing to navigate the complexities of digging into your spouse’s financial history, you would be better served by hiring a qualified mediation attorney.

Contact a Mediation Attorney for Rock Solid Advice

Mediation can offer a more peaceful and compassionate alternative to divorce litigation. To ensure you get the best outcome for your case, contact an experienced mediation attorney to discuss your case.

By working with a professional who is knowledgeable about the process, you can learn what to expect. You will also be better positioned to receive the best outcome when discussing matters with your spouse.

Call Fresh Start Mediation today and start working with a family lawyer in Carlsbad, Vista and San Marcos, CA if you wish to save time, money and frustration as you dissolve your marriage and prepare to move on with your life.


Meet Our Team 

Honest. Fearless. Bold.
  • John N. Griffith, Esq., CFLS
  • Catie E. Young, Esq., CFLS
  • Amy J. Lass, Esq., CFLS
  • Shirin Asgari, Esq., CFLS
  • Eric Cowdery, Esq.
  • Joshua Yee, Esq.
  • Shaudi Malekzadeh, Esq.
  • Lea Trojanowski. Esq.
  • Greyson Sharp, Esq.
  • John N. Griffith, Esq., CFLS John N. Griffith, Esq., CFLS


    John Griffith has practiced exclusively in the area of family law since 2009. John is a Certified Family Law Specialist certified as an expert in the area of family law by the California Board of Legal Specialization. Prior to opening Griffith, Young & Lass, he worked as the managing partner of one of the largest family law firms in North County San Diego.
    John N. Griffith, Esq., CFLS Photo
  • Catie E. Young, Esq., CFLS Catie E. Young, Esq., CFLS


    Catie E. Young excels in child custody cases and move-away trials. She has a unique approach to child custody cases and clients of Griffith, Young & Lass tend to gravitate toward her in these cases. Since joining the firm, she has continuously brought her zeal and compassion to representing clients in child custody and domestic violence cases, and in December 2011, she became a partner at Griffith, Young & Lass.
    Catie E. Young, Esq., CFLS Photo
  • Amy J. Lass, Esq., CFLS Amy J. Lass, Esq., CFLS


    Amy Lass, a certified family law specialist, was born in New York and raised in San Diego, California. Amy graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2003 with a B.S. in Economics with a concentration in Enterprise Accounting. Amy went on to earn her law degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and graduated cum laude in 2006.
    Amy J. Lass, Esq., CFLS Photo
  • Shirin Asgari, Esq., CFLS Shirin Asgari, Esq., CFLS


    Attorney Shirin Asgari has a broad spectrum of legal experience and has handled matters in family law, criminal law, business law, and national security law. Currently, she focuses on family law matters and is a strong advocate for the rights of her clients. She dedicates time and attention to the needs of each client and the unique circumstances their case presents.
    Shirin  Asgari, Esq., CFLS Photo
  • Eric Cowdery, Esq. Eric Cowdery, Esq.


    Eric Cowdery earned his bachelor’s and Master’s degrees before earning his JD from Golden Gate University as part of the Honors Lawyering Program. He was admitted to the California Bar Association in 2013 and has been working diligently in the field ever since. Taking a personalized approach to each case, Eric Cowdery is committed to working with clients to help them through the often confusing and complex legal process of divorce.

    Eric  Cowdery, Esq. Photo
  • Joshua Yee, Esq. Joshua Yee, Esq.


    Attorney Joshua Yeereceived his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, from the University of California, San Diego. Joshua went on to receive his Juris Doctor degree from University of San Francisco. His experience working with a local Certified Family Law Specialist solidified his desire to become a family law attorney. Since becoming an attorney, Josh has exclusively practiced in family law.
    Joshua  Yee, Esq. Photo
  • Shaudi Malekzadeh, Esq. Shaudi Malekzadeh, Esq.


    Shaudi Malekzadeh is a Carlsbad family law attorney at Griffith, Young & Lass, advocating for the rights and interests of Southern California families in a variety of family law cases, such as child custody, alimony, spousal support, and the division of community property. She is committed to delivering effective legal representation to our clients, aggressively advocating for their legal rights, and offering compassionate legal advice.
    Shaudi  Malekzadeh, Esq. Photo
  • Lea Trojanowski. Esq. Lea Trojanowski. Esq.


    Lea Trojanowski is an attorney with Griffith, Young, and Lass, joining the firm in March 2021. Her pragmatic and level-headed approach to family law has allowed her to be successful in even the most emotional family law cases. Lea has effectively represented clients in a wide range of family law proceedings, but is particularly drawn to domestic violence restraining order cases.
    Lea  Trojanowski. Esq. Photo
  • Greyson Sharp, Esq. Greyson Sharp, Esq.


    Greyson Sharp received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from California State University, Fresno. Greyson went ...
    Greyson  Sharp, Esq. Photo

Our Results Speak for Themselves

Over 100 5-Star Reviews Throughout Our Social Media Platforms
  • The way John presented our case was pure genius with meticulous preparation and deliberate action in court.

    “We were referred to John Griffith at GYL by our former attorney. I specifically was looking for an aggressive attorney that would yield results. John, Josh, and the firm performed flawlessly, and did ...”

    - MoMo M.
  • I would highly recommend Griffith, Young & Lass to anyone looking for ethical, honest, hard-working and skillful lawyers.

    “I would highly recommend Griffith, Young & Lass to anyone looking for ethical, honest, hard-working and skillful lawyers (I would stress these are actually rare qualities within the legal industry and ...”

    - Scott G.
  • You cannot find a better law firm.

    “I cannot say enough good things about John Griffith and this law firm. Each person i interacted with was responsive, intelligent, thoughtful and professional. Attorney Griffith worked very hard to ...”

    - Michelle P.
  • It was the best decision I’ve made yet and hopefully, it will be yours too.

    “She doesn’t back down from anyone. It was the best decision I’ve made yet and hopefully, it will be yours too.”

    - Ian R.
  • Understanding, accessible, and I was very happy with the outcome of my case. If I could give a higher rating I would!

    “Easy to work with, forthcoming about the process, set realistic expectations, and always kept cost in mind.”

    - Jennifer P.
  • All three lawyers worked together on the issues surrounding my case, which helped greatly when I was in need of answers or support.

    “The GYL team is always prompt at returning calls & emails. From personal experience, I can tell you that they will not step away from your case until it's finished.”

    - Kelsey L.
  • I couldn’t have made it without them! I highly recommend them!

    “GYL has been an extraordinary support and backing in my divorce. Being a male in the military, the process for divorce and custody is difficult. GYL was extremely helpful, and I was able to full custody of my children. That alone is such a monumental feat.”

    - Frankie S.
  • Worth every penny! My custody case went as stress-free as it could possibly be.

    “I hate seeing anyone go through custody battles but if you’re in that situation and need someone who is trustworthy and great at what they do, then I swear this is the place to get the help!”

    - Emily B.
  • I highly recommend GYL if you are ever in need of a family law attorney.

    “No matter who I corresponded with they were always knowledgeable of my case and quick to respond.”

    - Kimberley F.
  • Highly professional and supportive in a very uncertain time in my life.

    “My clearance was granted without any additional issues. I'd recommend this legal team to any Soldier needing help with their clearance.”

    - K. Brooks
  • Always willing to listen to your concerns. I would highly recommend.

    “Compassionate and kind, however, he will fight for you and your best interests. He is calm and calculated and extremely smart.”

    - Ann M.
  • Extremely helpful, responsive, and reasonable and got the job done amidst tenuous circumstances.

    “She and her team were extremely compassionate, sensitive with me while concurrently advocating strongly on my behalf.”

    - Jeremy R.
  • I felt like she was practical and knowledgeable and most importantly, she listened.

    “The professional and succinct assistance was a much-needed breath of fresh air in the maze of hurdles and complications with our family law case.”

    - David R.

Why GYL? 

Turn to a Team that Does It Best
  • We're Leaders in Our Field

    From case planning to preparation, to superior courtroom presence, our clients can be sure that they will walk into the Courtroom prepared and with the best chance of success.

  • Client Centered & Results Oriented

    Our representation is tailored to the unique circumstances of each client. We deploy the GYL strategic case trajectory dynamic to ensure the best chance at success at the most reasonable cost. 

  • Brilliant, Hard-Working & Honest

    We don't believe in wasting our client's time and money. Helping people is what drives us to excel at our craft. We first identify the goals and interests of each client, we then develop an efficient and effective case plan aimed at achieving those goals.

  • Responsible & Ethical Practices

    We believe in a responsible and ethical practice and stick to our values regardless of the situation. We're transparent and don't just tell our clients what they want to hear, unless it's what we believe, even if it may deter them from moving forward. We stand by our team's expertise and will always be upfront and honest with our clients. 

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