Ventura County Divorce Attorney, Mediator & Collaborative Divorce Lawyer
Offices in Ventura and Thousand Oaks / Westlake Village
A lawyer, mediator and law school professor with over 20 years Family Law experience, Barton Pokras uses a wide range of conflict resolution strategies to help resolve sensitive family law matters. His goal is to maintain healthy relationships and to protect the interests of children.
Barton has always counseled his family law clients to pursue their goals amicably and with dignity. He has considerable experience in helping people reach solutions that both conform to their highest ideals and safeguard their most important interests.
Barton will show you the various methods that are available for solving the problems facing you, and help you chose the option that best suits your situation. While litigation (going to court) is sometimes necessary, his many years of experience in representing clients in court has shown him that it is almost always better to resolve family law disputes outside the court system.
The basic options for obaining a divorce are:
- Divorce Mediation.
- Collaborative Divorce.
- "Do It Yourself" Divorce.
- Divorce Litigation.
Barton Pokras is a Family Law Attorney & Mediator as well as a Professor of Law, teaching California Community Property Law at the Southern California Institute of Law. His practice is devoted to Family Law matters, and he helps people with the following issues:
- Dissolution of Marriage.
- Legal Separation.
- Custody & Visitation of Children.
- Child Support & Spousal Support.
- Interstate Custody Disputes - Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Cases (UCCJEA).
- Division of Property, including High Asset Divorces.
- Modification of Existing Orders.
- Domestic Violence.
- Agreements for married and unmarried couples.
- Domestic Partnership Issues.
- Trusts and Estate Planning.
Barton Pokras also has considerable experience in the areas of taxation, business law, contracts and real property so that he is particularly able to assist divorcing families who own businesses, have sophisticated estate plans, real property holdings and retirement plans that need to be dealt with in the division of community assets and liabilities.
When the parents of children live in different states it isn't always clear which state has the jurisdiction to decide custody and visitation issues. Each of the 50 states in the USA has enacted a uniform set of laws dealing with the issues of interstate child custody jurisdictional disputes. Sometimes only one of the states can lawfully exercise jurisdiction, and sometimes more than one state has jurisdiction. In situations where more than one state has jurisdiction, there is a procedure for determining which of these states will hear the case. Barton Pokras has experience in this area, and has successfully litigated these issues.
Some divorces are known as "high conflict divorces." These are the cases that usually end up going to trial in court. These cases are generally not suitable for mediation or collaborative practice, because at least one of the parties is not interested in reaching a settlement. In many of these cases one of the spouses has a clinical personality disorder (e.g. borderline personality disorder). He doesn't have the expertise, of course, to make such a diagnosis, but he works with mental health professionals who are familiar with these types of individuals, and he has experience in this area of family law. His approach in these cases is to proactively "defend" his clients, devise strategies to keep the costs down, and to associate with experienced mental health professionals to protect the client and any children who may be involved.
Barton's law degree is from the University of California, Hastings College of Law (1972, Honors), and he has a Master of Laws in Taxation from Golden Gate University Law School in San Francisco (1981).