Carlsbad Family Law Attorneys

How a Collaborative Divorce Can Be A Simpler and Stress-Free Alternative to Divorce Court?

Collaborative divorce sounds a bit like an oxymoron, doesn’t it?

After all, you are preparing a legal split from your spouse. The last thing you want to do is work closely with your former ex on essential matters like spousal support, child support, and asset division.

And, like most divorces, you’re told that you’re supposed to be at odds with your spouse as you both prepare to battle it out in costly divorce court.

Isn’t that right?

Well, not necessarily.

In fact, collaborative divorce is becoming more popular than ever as a way to split from one’s spouse without the need for costly, time-consuming, and emotionally draining court battles.

Collaborative Family Law – Working Together for an Amicable Split

Collaborative law is a process within family law that lets couples split their union with the help of collaborative divorce attorneys.

The process was developed in 1990 by a family lawyer in Minnesota by the name of Stuart Webb.

Webb had long witnessed the damage traditional litigation had on divorcing parties and their families. That led him to seek a fast and more efficient means of helping families navigate divorce law.

This insight spurred what became known as the Collaborative Law Movement, which quickly spread across the U.S. and into Europe, Canada, and Australia.

Today, according to the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP), over 20,000 collaborative lawyers have been trained in this discipline across 46 states and worldwide.

How Does Collaborative Law Work?

Collaborative divorce seeks to bring divorcing parties together for cooperative discussions and friendly negotiations. The purpose is to arrive at a settlement you both can agree on that includes all matters relating to alimony, child visitation, debt and asset division, and any others that may apply.

Like traditional divorce litigation, both you and your spouse will retain attorneys to represent you. This is where collaborative lawyers come in.

Having lawyers you both can turn to is immensely helpful during the collaborative divorce process, as you and your spouse will each have an experienced professional willing to listen to – and alleviate – your concerns.

Unlike the often-messy process of divorce court, you and your spouse will meet with your attorneys during one or more four-way discussions, usually in a board or conference room. These informal meetings are designed to be amicable so that all matters can be handled in everyone’s best interests.

Collaborative Divorce vs. Divorce Court

One of the best aspects of collaborative divorce is that you don’t need to go to court, at least not yet. In order to proceed, both you and your attorney will sign a “no court” agreement. Your spouse will do the same with his or her attorney.

Once signed, you and your spouse, along with your attorneys, will be free to talk about things in a friendlier setting without judges and without all the expenditures, both financial and time-based.

Your attorneys may recommend that other collaborative professionals be called upon to settle more complex issues, such as accountants, asset valuators, and IT professionals for more technical matters. However, if everything goes according to plan, you can resolve all your differences without emotions running high, which is a far departure from your typical divorce court scenario.

If these matters are not resolved and the court is inevitable, your collaborative attorneys will need to take a step back, and both you and your spouse will be forced to retain new lawyers as you head into court.

If you can come to an agreement, you will find that collaborative divorce is easier on the emotions while saving you both time and money.

Collaborative Divorce vs. Mediation?

Divorce mediation and collaborative divorce have some similarities, but both processes are different in scope.

With mediation, you and your spouse can hire attorneys, but it’s not absolutely necessary. Hiring mediation services attorneys can help you and your spouse negotiate the more complicated matters regarding your divorce, and with far more confidence, resulting in a streamlined and stress-free affair.

To proceed with mediation, you and your spouse will collaboratively decide on a divorce mediator, who will then guide you both to a reasonable outcome. The mediator doesn’t have any power to judge over you and your spouse, per se. Instead, the professional merely directs the proceedings to keep you both on track until you can arrive at a peaceful resolution.

Like collaborative divorce, mediation is usually quicker and less expensive than divorce court. The process is also informal and allows for free-flowing ideas as you work to settle all your disputes.

Looking for More Flexibility in Your Divorce?

Are you trying to decide if a collaborative divorce is right for you? Or, maybe mediation is more your speed. To find out, you deserve to speak to a qualified and experienced collaborative mediation divorce lawyer. Only a trained professional can answer your questions while helping you come to the wisest decision with regards to your unique situation.

Are There Any Downsides to Collaborative Divorce or Mediation?

The only downside to both of them is that you and your spouse will need to start all over if either process doesn’t work out and you do end up going to court.

This is why it is critical to get expert advice to see if either of these processes are ideal for you.

How to Know Which Type of Divorce is Right for You?

You can almost guarantee that you and your spouse will benefit from either process if your differences aren’t overly complex. For instance, if you already know how you plan to split your debts and assets, if you already have children and alimony matters resolved, or you at least have some idea of how the split should go, start looking for collaborative divorce or mediation divorce attorneys and get the process started. By getting the process started now, your divorce could be finalized before you know it.

Divorce doesn’t have to be messy, nor does it have to drain you emotionally or financially. For a more peaceful and civil means of divorcing your spouse, seek the guidance of a tenured professional in these matters. Call the mediation specialists at GYL, where you can learn more about collaborative divorce and mediation for ultimate peace of mind. Contact us now in Carlsbad, Vista and San Marcos, California, to schedule a free consultation.


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
  • Noelle J. Slattery, Esq.
  • Eric Cowdery, Esq.
  • Joshua Yee, Esq.
  • Shaudi Malekzadeh, Esq.
  • Lea Trojanowski, Esq.
  • Greyson Sharp, Esq.
  • Brittany Van Ryder, Esq.
  • Karissa Piralla, 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
  • Noelle J. Slattery, Esq. Noelle J. Slattery, Esq.


    Noelle J. Slattery, Esq. has a bachelor’s degree in Performing Arts/Acting from Emerson College in Boston and a Juris Doctor ...
    Noelle J. Slattery, Esq. 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. After ...
    Greyson  Sharp, Esq. Photo
  • Brittany Van Ryder, Esq. Brittany Van Ryder, Esq.


    Brittany Van Ryder joined Griffith, Young, and Lass as a Bar Clerk in September 2022. She became an Associate Attorney at the ...
  • Karissa Piralla, Esq. Karissa Piralla, Esq.


    A San Diego native, Karissa earned a Bachelor's Degree in Communication from UCSD and a Juris Doctorate from the University ...

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  • 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 ...”

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    “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.”

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  • 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.

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    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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