A divorce in California is known as a proceeding for dissolution of marriage. Parallel provisions provide for a dissolution of a registered domestic partnership. A divorce is almost always an emotionally, and often financially, stressful event, particularly where minor children are involved.

At the Law Office of Melissa Polk, we strive to assist our clients in dealing with all of the issues that arise in divorce proceedings, including:
    • What type of procedure (mediation, negotiation, collaborative law or litigation) meets the client's needs the best
    • Referring clients to appropriate resources including therapists, accountants, financial planners, and real estate agents
    • Identifying the client's issues and priorities.
    • Parenting of minor children
    • Financial support
    • The valuation, division, use and control of assets (e.g. home, business, retirement benefits, or stock options)  

We will work with our clients along the way in making necessary decisions and with due consideration to the relative costs and effectiveness of various options. We endeavor to maintain clear communication with our clients and to respond to client's communications promptly, usually within 24 hours.

Family Law

Family Law encompasses all aspects of divorce/dissolution of marriage, including:

  • Marital property valuation and division
  • Post-judgment modifications
  • Spousal support (alimony)
  • Cohabitation agreements
  • Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
  • Issues regarding child custody, visitation and child support

Ms. Polk helps clients find creative solutions to their family law related disputes and encourages the use of mediation, collaborative law, and other non-adversarial dispute resolution processes.


In Family Law mediation, parties elect to meet with a mutually selected, impartial and neutral professional who can assist them in arriving at a settlement. Mediation leaves the decision-making power to the parties rather than to attorneys, experts and judges. The mediator does not decide any issues for the parties or determine what terms are "just". The mediator's role is to assist the parties in arriving at a solution that reasonably meets the parties' respective goals and needs, regardless of what the law may provide or how a judge may rule.

Ms. Polk has received formal training in mediation and has experience in representing clients while clients are in Family Law mediation. Representation during mediation can be on a full representation basis or on a consultation basis. The mediation process is confidential, and nothing said in the mediation process can be used by either party if the case proceeds to court.