The end of a marriage is rarely without heartache and emotional loss, even when the writing has been on the proverbial wall for some time. But while having to face and process familial upheaval and loss may in many divorces be inevitable, the drama, fighting and high cost of family law litigation does not have to be. 

You have probably heard horror stories of people going through divorce who end up spending well into six figures on legal and accounting costs. And even when one spouse ends up having to pay a significant portion of the other spouse’s legal fees, that is money that is being drained out of the marital estate to go toward lawyers, accountants and experts, rather than to secure the stable future of the family.

You and your spouse worked hard to build wealth. It should go without saying that, regardless of what factors led to the decision to end the marriage, that wealth should be preserved as much as possible for the benefit of the family. To put it bluntly, would you rather spend your money on your kids’ future education and maintaining your family home or on attorneys to fight over finances and custody in court?

Certainly any rational person will choose the former (and, yes, you can maintain rationality even in the darkest days of a divorce), but how do divorcing couples avoid the war of attrition that can be divorce litigation and preserve their family wealth, especially when they cannot seem to agree on anything and have trouble communicating without devolving into an argument that prevents compromise?

I have spent my career working with couples facing divorce in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties, representing and advising people from all walks of life, from celebrities to homemakers to civil servants, professionals and everyone in between. In my 25 years of experience I have made it a primary focus of my practice to guide my clients through divorce transitions in a manner that reduces conflict, avoids long delays in court, preserves family confidentiality, and, perhaps, most importantly, keeps family wealth in the family—even as the spouses go their separate ways—by preventing unnecessary legal fees and costs that would otherwise be spent on litigation.

The two primary methods by which my office accomplishes these goals are mediation and collaborative law. While procedurally different, the underlying process and goals are similar: divorcing spouses work together guided by skilled professionals—which could involve a single mediator in some cases or a team of professionals, including therapists, financial professionals and child specialists—to craft an outcome that mutually benefits both parties and their children for years to come, while keeping their issues out of court and their wealth in the family.

To find out if collaborative divorce or mediation may be the right process for resolving your divorce, visit or contact us at 805.777.7740 to schedule a consultation.

Lisa Zonder is a Family Law attorney with more than 25 years of experience.