In an atmosphere of respect, transparency, confidentiality and privacy, our neutral divorce financial mediator will guide you through documenting your community and separate property and debt and each of your estimated future income and expenses and then help you prepare your required preliminary Declarations of Disclosure to exchange with each other. Our mediator will then facilitate discussions to help you decide whether you wish to consider each asset and debt as community or separate property and then help you both value and divide your community assets and debt. Our mediator will explore then any child and spousal support issues so you understand the financial impact of child and spousal support. We initially schedule three two-hour financial mediation meetings which are held, for your comfort and convenience, using Zoom video-conferencing software.

If you have underage children, our financial mediator will refer you to a trained family professional who will mediate your required parenting plan by helping you create a foundation for co-parenting that will enable you to act in your children’s best interest. Your financial and parenting plan mediation typically are scheduled parallel to each other and are completed at about the same time.

When you and your spouse have come to substantial financial and co-parenting agreement, we will meet with you and a consulting attorney of your choice using video-conferencing software to discuss what the law says, what it does not say and answer any questions either of you might have about you legal rights and responsibilities and then to help you and your spouse finalize a comprehensive child and/or spousal support agreement that assures your future well-being and that of your post-divorce family. The consulting attorney will then complete the legal documentation of your agreement, review your preliminary and final Declaration of Disclosures and navigate your divorce process through the California court system to completion.


Want to know More about the Collaborative Divorce Mediation Roadmap?


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There is a fourth divorce option. It is possible to file your own divorce and complete the divorce process in San Francisco without retaining an attorney, a divorce financial analyst or a parenting plan professional.

Before you make a decision to divorce yourselves, though, consider whether you and your spouse are good candidates. You may, in fact, be good candidates for a Do It Yourself divorce if:

  • You both agree on ALL major issues (division of property, custody, and support).
  • Your family’s assets and debts are very simple.
  • You both believe you have complete information about all of your assets and debts.
  • You both are comfortable with the terms of your co-parenting arrangements for your children with respect to custody, support and shared parenting time.
  • You both believe your agreement is fair and reasonable.
  • You both have the time to research California family law, gather the required documentation, and follow through with court filings and appearances.
  • You both have the temperament to handle the emotional roller coaster that will inevitably come into play even if you both agree completely with respect to the process.

Court-based Self-Help Divorce Center and Divorce Facilitators in San Francisco: Court-based self-help centers are staffed by attorneys and other qualified personnel under their direction to provide information and education about the divorce process and to work with the court to provide effective management of divorce cases with no direct attorney involvement. Many self-help centers are combined with the family law facilitator programs. These facilitators, working for the superior court, guide divorcing couples through procedures related to child support, maintenance of health insurance, and spousal support. They assist with cases involving the local child support agency. Divorce Facilitators can help divorcing couples with forms, court procedures, and support calculations, and they provide workshops and referrals to community agencies that assist parents and families. In San Francisco, legal information and resources are available at little or no charge from Divorce Facilitators at:

San Francisco Divorce Self-Help Center, 400 McAllister St., Room 509, San Francisco, CA 94102

Divorce Facilitators in San Francisco Can:

  • Give you information in many languages and explain your legal divorce options.
  • Give you tools to represent yourself in divorce Court.
  • Show you how to fill out the legal forms, follow divorce court procedures, find resources or a lawyer.

Divorce Facilitators Cannot:

  • Help with discovery.
  • Act as your lawyer (there is no attorney-client relationship).
  • Go with you to Court, or speak to a Judge for you.


The Judicial Council of California maintains websites to help users navigate the divorce court system and acquire realistic expectations about the legal system and which admittedly receives over 4 million visitors each year at www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-divorce.htm and www.sucorte.ca.govAnother website, www.familieschange.ca.gov, provides extensive information for children, teens, and parents in an interactive and age-appropriate manner on divorce issues. An online parenting education class is included on the site and provides three hours of free online video-based classes to help parents help their children during divorce or separation. The self-help website offers many videos to explain basic legal issues and court processes.

A new video, Orientation to Family Court Services, provides critical information to self-represented parents on court procedures, mediation, child custody evaluation, child custody recommending counseling, effective presentation of child-related information to the courts, parenting plans, and supervised visitation. It contains interviews with parents and children who have participated in mediation and shares their perspectives. Additional videos describe how to prepare court forms for an uncontested divorce and how to prepare for a family law hearing; they are available in English and Spanish.

Other San Francisco DO IT YOURSELF DIVORCE Resources:

Divorce & Child Custody…laws are complex. But with these products written in plain-English by attorneys at Nolo, you can be armed with the information you need to make the best decisions for you and your family.


San Francisco Divorce with Dignity…would you like assistance with the divorce process? Would you like professional help without the attorney fees? Filing for Divorce can be an overwhelming process. You don’t have to go through the divorce alone.