RSinSF on Citysearch
10 years ago
07/26/2011, 02:20 AM
Experienced, Balanced, Fair Results – After separating, I entered into mediation with my ex-spouse to settle our marriage in what I hoped would be an amicable and fair ending. When the mediator suggested we also consider what the law in the matter was, and that it didn't serve my ex's interests, it became clear that mediation was not going to work. I realized I needed a lawyer and a friend recommended Vivian Holley.
I liked that Vivian specialized in mediation and also "Collaborative Law", rather than litigation, so that we could end our marriage as painlessly, harmoniously and inexpensively as possible. I wanted to make sure she was not just "ok" but "really good", so I interviewed many of SF's top divorce attorneys and an internationally known mediator who said Vivian is very good. It was a good thing, because my ex hired a high powered SF divorce attorney (from a firm that the SF attorneys told me, "You go to this lawyer if you want to give your ex a hard time... They just wear you down and don't care about how they get the result..").
As it turned out, Vivian's interpretation of the law was accurate and my ex's was not (surrounding "Separate Property" claims). My ex's lawyer feigned to cooperate but did not with the intent to wear me down. Vivian had me pull together all my records documenting the facts and when I filed a motion with the court, my ex backed down and she fired her lawyer and agreed to hire a collaborative lawyer (that Vivian identified) to represent her and Vivian representing me - out of court. While the process was painful, we ultimately resolved the situation and did so without expensive litigation. My ex's attorney made the incorrect assumption that just because Vivian prefers to collaborate, that she would buckle. Vivian did not buckle and, I believe me and my family were better off because of her knowledge of the law and how she advised and handled me and, indirectly, my ex.