Forrest (Woody) Mosten

Mediator and Collaborative Attorney

Certified Family Law Specialist

Collaborative Legal Representation

I encourage all divorcing and divorced parents to do the work on before going into any mediation or collaborative settlement session. I also recommend that parents use the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists and as resources for developing parenting plans to help their children.

To view a 20 minute film on Collaborative Divorce with real divorcing parties produced by the International Academy of Collaborative Professions, please click here.

To see a video explaining Collaborative Law by Social Worker, Gary Direnfeld of Toronto, please click here.

Below is a 2015 video produced by Norman Kolasky with funding from the Ontario Collaborative Law Federation (Executive Producer, Judith Huddart; Creative Director, Dr. Tina Sinclair; Technical Director, Norman Kolasky; Funding, in part, for the video was made possible by a grant from The Law Foundation of Ontario through the support of the Ontario Collaborative Law Federation):

Also, take a look at Mr. Mosten’s recent book … Collaborative Divorce Handbook: Effectively Helping Divorcing Families Without Going to Court (Jossey Bass, 2009). You may wish to start with Chapter 2, What It Is and How It Works.

Overview of Mr. Mosten's Collaborative Representation

Forrest Mosten is recognized internationally as an expert in collaborative legal representation for clients who wish personal, confidential and effective legal help in resolving family issues. He is a member of the International Association of Collaborative Professionals and the Los Angeles Collaborative Family Law Association. He adheres to Collaborative Principles and Guidelines and the California Collaborative Statute in every matter, even when the other party is represented by an attorney who is also a litigator.

In addition to representing clients in the collaborative model, Mr. Mosten will never accept court engagements and will treat you and your spouse with dignity and respect. He is committed to reducing conflict and helping you and your spouse and your children get through the divorce and start rebuilding your lives.

Mr. Mosten is recognized as a leading international authority on Collaborative Law. His new book, Collaborative Divorce Handbook is published by Jossey Bass. He has written articles on informed consent for clients that have been published in the Journal of Dispute Resolution in 2008 and has co-authored a major article on Screening Collaborative Law Cases with Professor John Lande that shall be published in the Ohio State Law School Journal in Dispute Resolution in 2010. Mr. Mosten is the Editor of the Special Issue on Collaborative Law to be published by the Family Court Review in 2011 and shall be a major presenter at the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals Forum in October 2009.

Family Code, Section 2013 (Effective January 1, 2007)

(a) If a written agreement is entered into by the parties, the parties may utilize a collaborative law process to resolve any matter governed by this code over which the court is granted jurisdiction.

(b) "Collaborative law process" means the process in which the parties and any professionals engaged by the parties to assist them agree in writing to use their best efforts and to make a good faith attempt to resolve disputes related to the family law matters as referenced in subdivision (a) on an agreed basis without resorting to adversary judicial intervention.

You and Your Spouse Agree to Use Collaborative Law

You and your Spouse have a choice as to the design of your family's divorce process. Mr. Mosten will help you design a process that fits your needs and that you can afford.

Full Collaborative Team

Collaborative Professionals can work in an integrated interdisciplinary approach to meet the emotional and financial challenges of your divorce.

Mental Health Professionals trained in the collaborative process can serve as emotional and parenting coaches for you and your spouse to prepare you both to deal with communication problems and emotional crises during the process.

CPAs and Financial Planners can be part of the collaborative team to amicably and efficiently help you and your spouse to inventory and value property, determine income and budgetary needs for child support and spousal support, and provide tax advice.

The parties and the entire Collaborative Team work together to accelerate the settlement process and keep your transaction costs down so that you and your spouse can begin rebuilding your lives in your post-divorce reorganized family.

Unbundled Collaborative Representation

If you and your spouse feel that you have a grip on emotional/financial issues (or are getting help elsewhere), Mr. Mosten and your spouse's collaborative lawyer can "unbundle" the Collaborative Team and work together with you and your spouse. If financial or divorce coaches are needed, you and your spouse can bring in these professionals as mutually agreed upon.

Your Spouse Has Already Retained A Collaborative Attorney

As a member of the LACFLA Collaborative Practice Group, Mr. Mosten is committed to the Principles and Rules of Collaborative Practice and is ready to form a collaborative legal team with your spouse's attorney.

Your Spouse Has Not Yet Retained A Collaborative Attorney

Mr. Mosten is prepared to provide information on the benefits of the Collaborative Process and possible referrals of other collaborative attorneys to your spouse. In some situations, you can invite your spouse to meet with you and Mr. Mosten to learn about collaborative law and to discuss other possible approaches to settlement.

Your Spouse Has Engaged an Attorney Who Is Also A Litigator

As Mr. Mosten formerly litigated family law matters for over 30 years, he is experienced and prepared to represent you in settlement discussions even when your spouse's attorney may take adversarial positions or threatens court action against you. If your spouse and/or his/her attorney are unwilling to compromise, Mr. Mosten would refer you to a family law litigator in whom Mr. Mosten has confidence. Mr. Mosten is committed to first attempting a reasonable and collaborative approach and works tirelessly toward settlement even when court does not look  as if it can be avoided.

Your Spouse Has Filed For A Court Hearing Against You

Mr. Mosten has found that it is rarely too late to offer your spouse the collaborative option to resolve conflicting issues. If he feels that you need to modify your own position or make additional compromises, Mr. Mosten will frankly and confidentially provide you advice and resources (even if you are initially resistant). However, Mr. Mosten will not permit your legal, financial or parenting position to be put at risk and will  try to not allow you to unfairly face coercion or leverage by your spouse who may be using the court system against you. In such situations, Mr. Mosten will promptly advise you to obtain litigation counsel to balance the playing field. However, you may wish to continue to be available to you to advise you of possible settlement and mediation opportunities.

© Forrest S. Mosten

Certified Family Law Specialist
Board of Legal Specialization, State Bar of California