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Collaborative Practice in Sacramento, CA |  Child Support, Divorce Attorney, & Divorce Solutions | Sacramento Collaborative Practice Group

Are you unclear about what exactly ARE the tax consequences of divorce when your client asks that question?

This one-day seminar will take you into the more interesting and complex tax issues that family law professionals are expected to know but often overlook. The course is a wise investment for any family law professional who wishes to avoid common tax pitfalls in their dissolution cases by arming you with the most current information available on these complex issues.

Registration includes a 400-plus page text, Divorce Taxation, which includes problems and answers with typical scenarios you will encounter in your practice.

Planning can cut taxes and reduce the stress of negotiating divorce settlements. Learn the fundamentals so you can offer your clients solutions that are not apparent yet are fiscally favorable.

You will learn about excluding more than $500,000 on the sale of a residence; how a decree of legal separation can save the marriage tax penalty; what generates the marriage tax penalty; the tax consequences of property settlements; tax filing options; and any new tax reforms that Congress may pass.

January 26, 2018 Fresno, CA | February 9, 2018 Sacramento, CA | May 18, 2018 Berkeley/Oakland, CA

All seminars are from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Registration from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Download brochure for registration form and more information 

2018 Divorce Tax Seminars [pdf]


How Do I Survive the Pain of Divorce?

By: R. Renee Steele, Ph.D.

916.985.0321 Folsom, CA.


Divorcing people frequently ask me when they will stop feeling like they have failed—their children, their families, their spouse, themselves. Divorce happens—sometimes even when we have done our very best and tried everything we know. The loss hurts and is heartbreaking. But you can survive it and come through on the other side. Here are 3 things to consider:

Be Informed

At this stage, you often don’t know what you don’t know. Knowledge helps us feel more in control so seek out reliable information. Be wary of well-meaning but often ill-informed friends and family. There are multiple options about how you and your spouse can manage this transition. An inexpensive, information-filled opportunity is for you (and your spouse) to attend a Divorce Options Workshop. Go to the Sacramento Collaborative Practice Group website: www.divorceoption.com and select the “Attend Divorce Options” tab.

Don’t Go It Alone

There will be times that you will need additional support. Consider identifying support groups in your area or seeking out a licensed professional therapist.

Take Care of Yourself

One of people’s biggest concerns relates to the impact of divorce on their children. We know that the best predictor of how your children will adapt is how well you and your spouse work with each other and manage your conflict. Consider attending a Co-Parenting Class. Be sure you are getting adequate rest, exercise, nutrition and support.


Ed Goldman: Hal Bartholomew thinks divorcing couples can collaborate

Ed Goldman ColumnistSacramento Business Journal
While Hal D. Bartholomew doesn’t really remind me of Joan Rivers (for one, he’s a lot taller; for another, he’s alive) his professional mantra evokes the late comedian’s most famous intro: “Can we talk?”

Bartholomew is the president the Sacramento Collaborative Practice Group as well as the newer statewide association, It’s a multidisciplinary coalition of attorneys, mental health professionals, financial advisers and others whose central goal is to provide divorcing couples with an alternative to nasty, prolonged fighting, especially when children are in the mix.

Each party in a divorce, Bartholomew says, “is in a fog, in smog, stuck in the muck and mire of the process. “We make all meetings between the clients face to face. We make the couple the hardest working people at the table because they’re making all of the decisions.”

Bartholomew & Wasznicky who’s been in practice for more than 44 years — started the local group in 1997. But he credits for its essential focus a now-retired Minneapolis lawyer named Stuart Webb, who had started a collaborative divorce group seven years earlier. “I think it’s worth noting that Stu is a Buddhist,” Bartholomew says. “This isn’t about lawyers getting rich.” I ask how everyone involved in the process gets paid. “We all charge our normal fees,” he says — then smiles. “Okay, it also isn’t about everyone getting poor. But the couple and when there are children, they and they alone are the focus.”

In fact, at the start of the process, “The couple is asked to write a mission statement,” he says. “Each party needs to ask, ‘Why am I doing this?’ Once people answer that honestly, there’s usually an acceptance: ‘We’re doing this because it’s for the best.’ When you can agree on the goal at the beginning, it makes everything fall into place as you move along.”

The collaborative practice group currently has 101 members. Bartholomew says that when mental health professionals first hear about the group and are asked to participate, “I invariably hear, ‘Hey, it’s about time you attorneys got this right.’”

Bartholomew, who’s 70, has been married for 35 years to Beverly Brautigam, a CPA who has her own investment advisory practice. The couple has a daughter, Marla, and two grandchildren. The couple lives in Elk Grove, in the home, perched on 10 acres (five of which are vineyards), that “I moved to when I was four years old. “I’m a third-generation Elk Grove native,” he says. There’s even a 44-acre sports park in the city that’s named for him, an honor for his years of service to the local community services district.

The collaborative group holds information sessions on the second Saturday of each month at area hotels, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Details are online at divorceoption.com.

Contrary to what many people think, filing for divorce does not automatically end a marriage. While starting the divorce process with the Court helps people move forward, the fact is that becoming unmarried does not happen overnight.

In California, the waiting period to become unmarried is six months. The six month clock starts ticking when a spouse is served with the petition and summons for dissolution of marriage filed by the other spouse. This waiting period or “cooling off” period often comes as a surprise to a couple. It does allow a couple the opportunity to reconsider reconciliation during this six month period.

Even in the most acrimonious cases, reconciliation can and does happen. Divorcing spouses may find that a trial separation and time gives them the opportunity to reassess themselves and their relationship. In some cases, people decide they would rather work on the marriage than end it.

Divorce is an emotional event and you can’t always predict how you will react or feel about someone, particularly when the relationship is in trouble. While you and your spouse may no longer get along or even like each other, things can change over time. If you are in this situation, you may be relieved to know that just because you have filed for divorce doesn’t mean it’s already finalized. In reality, the divorce is not final until a Judgment of Dissolution has been filed and entered by the Court and the six month period has elapsed.

One of many benefits of the collaborative divorce process is that the parties are in control of the process. Unlike the litigation process – escalation between the parties are less likely to occur. The presence of mental health professionals and a team that is working to help the couple resolve difficult issues helps a couple keep a better perspective of their situation.

Contact information is below to select an attorney to discuss finding the approach that works best for your specific situation

www.DivorceOption.com 916-863-9777

by Hal Bartholomew

Collaborative Divorce – a new process in which a divorcing couple, together with trained professionals, work as a team to resolve disputes respectfully, without going to court.

It begins with something we all agree on – mutual respect.

Collaboration, cooperation and communication during divorce
There are a number of difficult decisions that need to be made during dissolution of
marriage, from child support to property division. After the decision to divorce is made
(In California – it only takes one party), the next important decision to be made involves
the type of divorce process you and your soon-to-be-ex spouse will use.
The traditional choice is the litigation/courtroom system where each party hires their own
zealous advocate to represent them. This involves classic positional bargaining. Many
people get so entangled in a contentious and combative relationship that it evolves into
litigation, appearing in court, and allowing a judge to make decisions. Other people
choose a more respectful, cooperative and peaceful approach. This is where the
consensual approaches of collaborative law and mediation can come in. These
approaches are more likely to be less expensive both in financial and emotional costs.
.If you are committed to ending a marriage in a peaceful way that preserves some sense
of dignity and respect, a collaborative divorce could be the best solution for you. Rather
than battle it out in court and leave critical decisions to be made by judges, you can opt
for negotiation and mediation, which happens outside of the public courtroom and in
Collaborative law allows couples to work together to negotiate the terms of their divorce.
Spouses work with a professional team of attorneys, financial and mental health
specialists to find mutually agreeable resolutions. With this support, couples find the
ability to communicate in a more positive manner and are able to discuss their goals and
objectives in privacy.
Members of the Sacramento Collaborative Practice Group know how to work with all
professionals from financial consultants to child therapists and counselors, in order to
pursue a peaceful solution. We know that being committed to a collaborative divorce is
an important decision and we work with spouses and others to ensure that this goal is
www.DivorceOption.com (http://www.divorceoption.com/) 916-863-9777
By Hal Bartholomew, Attorney – Sacramento, CA.
Collaborative Divorce – a new process in which a divorcing couple, together with
trained professional, work as a team to resolve disputes respectfully, without going to

When people get married, they typically don’t expect to get divorced. They don’t expect that they’ll fall out of love with their spouse or become so bitter and angry that they can’t even be in the same room as the other person. And they don’t expect that they might do or say things they would later regret.

During a divorce, good people can make some bad decisions. However, the fact that you and/or your ex may be reacting in negative or hurtful ways doesn’t mean you can’t try to work together to reach a fair and amicable end to your marriage.

Collaborative divorce is something that people all across California have pursued in recent years. Essentially, it allows two people to work together with open communication, compromise and negotiation in an effort to resolve some or all aspects of their divorce.

You might be thinking that collaboration is just not in the cards for your situation because you and your ex aren’t on the best of terms, or because you have both said and done some hurtful things. However, collaborative divorce is not just you and your ex trying to resolve complex issues on your own.

With the help of attorneys and professionals like those in the Sacramento Collaborative Practice Group who are experienced in collaborative law, mental health professionals, financial specialists and other supportive advisors, you can navigate the process in a positive manner and focus on the future rather than dwelling on past mistakes and placing blame on the other party

Again, you do not have to be on great terms with your ex to pursue collaboration; you both just need to be willing to try and work toward the same goal. Divorce is not easy, and people experience strong, negative emotions during this troubling time. However, with guidance, support and a little perspective, you can try to make the best of a very difficult situation.

www.DivorceOption.com (http://www.divorceoption.com/) 916-863-9777

By Hal Bartholomew, Attorney – Sacramento, CA.


Collaborative Divorce – a new process in which a divorcing couple, together with trained professional, work as a team to resolve disputes respectfully, without going to court.



1. Hiding InformationYour attorney will be your advocate through this emotional process. It is important you disclose any and all information, no matter how embarrassing or personal it may seem.

2.Negative Activity on Social Media Today we use social media to update friends and family on our daily lives, however remember to use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram wisely. Don’t post anything that may hurt your family law case.

3.Showing Inappropriate AngerAs emotional as this time can be for everyone involved, keep your cool as much as possible. You have an audience watching and how you respond or react can reflect on the process

4.Using the Children as a “Get Back” ToolRemember who the innocent bystanders are during the divorce process, the children. Their world is crumbling just as yours is. Do not use them as leverage or revenge on the other party.

5.Getting Advice from Family and FriendsWhile friends and family may mean well, they are not your attorney. Avoid following through with advise given to you by them. Every divorce is different and your attorney knows how to guide you through yours.

6.Introducing a New Significant Other While moving on and meeting new people may be good for you, remember this is still fresh for the children. It’s best to wait until time has healed some wounds and life has settled down before bringing a new significant other around the children.

7.Confrontation with your SpousePick good times and locations to have conversations. If you believe the topic can get heated be sure the children are not around for the conversation. Remember that you still need to communicate with your ex spouse for the children, so it’s best to work at being as amicable as possible.

8.Rushing the Process– Sit back and breathe. Sometimes it’s best to just contemplate on what is happening or about to happen in your life. Ask your attorney questions, get help from professionals on how to deal with this process for you and all parties involved.

9.Confiding in your Spouse– While it is good to be able to communicate with your spouse, be aware of confiding too much personal information to them. Even if you both see each other as still “”friends” during the family law process, it’s best to be respectful of each others private lives.

The process of divorce can be an emotional roller coaster ride. It can be hard to think clearly and make rational decisions. Remember you are not alone and there is professional help out there to guide you.

For a free copy of Carol Delzer’s book “Divorce Done Easier” visit Family Law Center in Sacramento. www.familylawcenter.us


It seems like everywhere we look, we are being told that there is a right way to do something and a wrong way to do something. For instance, stories about divorce are more available than ever.

We read about dramatic celebrity divorces ending in multi-million dollar settlements, the quiet, amicable divorce of two strangers who took a picture that went viral and everything in between. And for every story on someone’s divorce, it can seem like there’s also someone telling us that’s either the right way or wrong way to divorce. But is there such a thing as the right way to divorce?

The answer to this question is yes. There can be a right way to divorce, but what the right way is means different things to different people.

For some people, the right way to divorce is one where they remain amicable and peaceful, particularly if there are children involved, and the parents are able to reach agreements between themselves on how to parent their children.

Other couples would consider a divorce that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to be right for them. Those couples would likely be interested in self-help services or using the services of a mediator to work out agreements without going to court.

In situations where divorcing spouses are particularly contentious or there is a lot of money or property at stake, it might be right for them to take the case to court (“litigate”) where decisions on legal matters are left to a judge to make. This is by far the most expensive option a couple may choose and most likely lead to more litigation in the future and even greater estrangement among the family and extended family.

Fortunately, today couples who have great animosity have the availability of a collaborative divorce. This process offers support and guiding to each party to help them reach a mutually acceptable agreement. An agreement that was not forced upon them – but understood and agreed to between the parties.

Collaborative divorce is a team approach to helping a couple resolve their disputes. Each party has an attorney and a divorce coach. The divorce coach’s role is to help the couple reduce the anger, deal with the emotional issues and to make sure everyone is heard. The attorneys help guide the process in a non-adversarial manner.

Other team members include a financial specialist who collects and analyzes the financials and a child specialist (if there are children) who helps represent the children interests.

An important part of the collaborative process is that everyone commits solely to helping resolve their problems and disputes and is hired solely for that purpose. None of the team members have a hidden agenda of escalating the disputes because they are only hired to help the parties reach a mutually acceptable agreement and the attorneys will not take the couple to court.

Contact information is below to select an attorney to discuss finding the approach that works best for your specific situation

www.DivorceOption.com 916-863-9777

By Hal Bartholomew, attorney - Sacramento, CA. 


Collaborative Divorce – a new process in which a divorcing couple, together with trained professionals, work as a team to resolve disputes respectfully, without going to court.



5 Insane But True Facts About High Conflict Divorce

03/05/2016 11:58 am ET -- Huffington Post


Elizabeth Esrey Mediator, Conflict Resolution Specialist and Coach

1. High Conflict Divorce is expensive: The cost of litigating divorce has always been high even with cheaper alternatives, such as mediation and collaborative law, on the rise. Still, litigating a high conflict divorce is expensive. According to an Associated Press article, the costs of divorce varies depending the process you use. Mediation is the least expensive option, at a typical cost of $6,600. Collaborative law costs average $19,723 while full-scale divorce litigation average, $77,746.

2. High Conflict Divorce is more susceptible to violence
It’s sad but true. Family courts pit couples against each other - especially in high conflict divorce cases. There have even been documented casualties. Earlier this year in Delaware a mother of three, as well as her friend, were shot and killed inside the courthouse as they were arriving at for a child-support hearing. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/02/25/delaware-courthouse-shooting-family/1945261/

In October 2011, eight people were killed when a man opened fire in the hair salon where his ex-wife worked. The two were involved in a difficult, ongoing custody battle.

Divorce litigation can be so stressful a family law judge in West Virginia found himself in hot water after a screaming rampage aimed at a party. The court video which begins with a ‘Viewer Discretion is Advised’ warning from YouTube, shows the judge screaming at the husband so loudly that the audio starts to cut out.

3. High Conflict Divorce is best handled like Hostage Negotiations
Lt. Jack Cambria, a chief hostage negotiator for NYPD’s elite hostage negotiation team, gave a talk entitled “Lessons on Conflict Resolution from an NYPD Hostage Negotiator,” to The New York State Council on Divorce Mediation. It cited many similarities between High Conflict Divorce and Hostage Negotiation. Essentially, both need to be able to stay calm while setting an appropriate pace for negotiations. A hostage negotiator and divorce mediator need to treat people with respect (yes, this is from the hostage negotiator) and use active listening skills. Finally, the hostage negotiator, like the divorce mediator, should never give up!

4. High Conflict Divorce is better served through Mediation.
To avoid the drama and cost of divorce litigation, more people are using healthier methods to resolve high conflict divorce. With mediation, divorcing couples manage their divorce through peaceful conversation. Judges and lawyers typically don’t deal with the emotional aspects of divorce. Mediators help couples navigate the divorce process and reach agreements that are less expensive, more lasting and customized. Legal and non-legal issues can be resolved in mediation. Mediators can deal with the emotional aspects of divorce to avoid heightened conflict. The goal of mediation is to procure a long- lasting, customized, peaceful and private resolution to divorce and life after divorce.

5. High Conflict Divorce is a choice.
As ½ of a divorce, you get to decide if you are going to engage in a high conflict divorce or not. If you refuse to “lawyer up” and get nasty about the divorce, you aren’t likely to have a high conflict divorce. If you choose to “lawyer up” and litigate then, you are more likely to have a high conflict divorce. By choosing mediation over litigation, you model dignity and privacy in your divorce. Even in “high conflict” divorces you can be heard, respected and resolute in avoiding the cost and dehumanization of high conflict divorce litigation.


About SCPG

Sacramento Collaborative Practices Group is a group of professionals interested in avoiding court battles and power struggles to resolve conflicts. Our group is a multi-disciplinary, multi-field group open to all professionals interested in Collaborative conflict resolution. Read more...

Will CP work for me?

If the following values are important to you, it is likely to be a workable option:

  • I want us to communicate with a tone of respect
  • I want to prioritize the needs of our children.
  • My needs and those of my spouse/partner require equal consideration, and I will do my best to listen objectively.

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