Karen Juster Hecht, Esq.

"I love my work as a family law mediator. Seriously. I’m on a mission to help people get divorced without feeling like they’ve bounced through class five rapids without a raft. Coming to an agreement on issues like custody, support, the family home, the family dog, etc., etc., feels really good for everyone involved."

Karen@KarenJusterHecht.net | 510.210.3796

Karen Juster Hecht, Esq.

Plan Be - Family Law & Mediation
Focusing on Divorce Wellness

Other Resources


Mediation is a process where people work with a trained mediator to reach agreements with the goal of finishing their divorce without fighting in court. Your mediator helps you resolve issues and can help prepare the necessary documents for your divorce. Mediation is usually much more cost efficient than litigation. You can find more information on mediation here.


Litigation is a divorce method that utilizes attorneys who go to court and ask for judicial intervention to resolve disputes. To become legally divorced, every divorce has to be filed in court and where the parties have not found a way to agree on the issues, they move through the court system and a judge makes orders based on the filings and arguments made by the attorneys. Basic information about family law litigation in California can be found here.

Divorce Coaching

Divorce Coaching offers structure and insight while you move through your divorce, creating Divorce Wellness into your new normal. Usually a divorce entails a lot more than the necessary paperwork and meetings, or court hearings -- changes that include financial, emotional, physical aspects of life. Lots of unknowns. Working with a Divorce Coach helps you sort out the pieces. These articles - A New Cadre of Experts Helps Women Navigate Their Divorces and Hiring a Divorce Coach Can Save You a Bundle have some good ideas.

Useful Divorce Wellness tips

New ways to approach wholehearted, well-balanced, living can be found here in our blog, Divorce Wellness for Real Life.

General Definitions

General Definitions in California: “Divorce” is called “Dissolution”; the “Petition” is the form that starts the divorce; “Legal Custody” refers to making decisions about the child (for example school and medical); “Physical Custody” refers to where the child resides; “Alimony” is called “Spousal Support.”

Self Help

Most family law courts have “self-help” resources that may be utilized to assist parties to obtain a divorce without attorneys. Check your local county court website or click here for more information.