Martie H. Leys, J.D.
Mediation & Collaborative Family Practice

Getting Started

Should I Choose Mediation or Collaborative Process for my Divorce?

Both Mediation and Collaborative Process support you in formulating your own settlement agreement tailored to meet your particular needs and interests.

Both of these out-of-court approaches to restructuring relationships assist people in taking responsibility for creating their own fair and workable settlement without having the Court dictate the terms.

Choosing Martie as Your Mediator

Mediation is a voluntary out-of-court process leading to an amicable dissolution of your marriage or domestic partnership. In order to work effectively, both parties must intend to be honest, fair and cooperative in working with Martie as their mediator to resolve outstanding matters. While serving as your Mediator, Martie facilitates both parties in maintaining a level playing field. In Mediation you and your partner raise concerns, share openly and fully all information, and come to a mutually agreeable resolution of all outstanding issues. As your Mediator, Martie works to bring you and your spouse or partner to a mutually acceptable settlement agreement. Martie does not represent either individual party. If you wish, Martie will prepare and submit all necessary filings with the Court.

Choosing Martie as Your Collaborative Attorney

Collaborative Process is appropriate when you know you do not want to go to Court, and you feel the need for individual support before and during settlement negotiations with your spouse or partner. You are empowered by specially trained professionals who inform and guide you in creating new workable options, and who assure equal understanding of complex information and complex issues.

Collaborative Team Members include Martie, you and your partner or spouse, their collaborative attorney, and other skilled specialists, as needed, working together to build an effective settlement. For example: you each may have a divorce coach to process emotional issues and help you communicate in an effective and constructive manner; a neutral child specialist can assist in formulating an effective co-parenting plan; a neutral financial specialist can help develop and explore financial options for life and financial health beyond the dissolution of your relationship and divorce.

How Can Your Spouse or Partner find their Collaborative Attorney?

The Collaborative Council of the Redwood Empire (CCRE) website is a resource your spouse or partner can use to find their collaborative attorney and where you can read about other specially-trained prospective collaborative team members. Click on the logo to go to the CCRE site.
The International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP) is another source of Collaborative Professionals. Click on the logo to go to the Collaborative Practice site.

How Do I Get Started on a Collaborative Process Divorce?

  1. You schedule an appointment with Martie to discuss your case and the details of your collaborative process.

  2. You talk with your spouse or partner about Collaborative Process and share Martie’s brochure.

    Martie's brochure in PDF Format.

  3. Your spouse or partner chooses an attorney committed to keeping the collaborative process on track.

  4. You and your spouse or partner and both attorneys sign a collaborative agreement agreeing not to go to court.

  5. All attend the first informal four-way collaborative meeting to create short-term agreements for present needs and plan the next steps in your collaborative process.