(805) 477-0505

Ventura County Divorce Attorney, Mediator & Collaborative Divorce Lawyer

Ventura – Thousand Oaks – Westlake Village - Simi Valley - Oxnard - Camarillo 

If you are contemplating divorce, there are a number of options available to you.

The legal requirements for obtaining a California divorce or legal separation can be satisfied by using any of several different processes. Depending upon your own individual circumstances, some are more appropriate than others. At the Law Offices of Barton Pokras we will explain the various options that are available to you, and advise you as to which ones best fit your needs.

  • Divorce Mediation
  • Collaborative Divorce.
  • “Do It Yourself” Divorce.
  • Divorce Litigation (Going to Court)

Mediation : Mediation is a private, and confidential process that takes place outside of court. The parties are assisted by an impartial mediator to resolve any or all of the issues in their family law matter. When agreement is reached, it can be put in writing by yourselves or with the help of a legal professional. Each party may consult with their own private attorney to advise them on the fairness of the agreement, as well as any legal issues that are present. Barton Pokras uses a variety of mediation techniques to help you resolve the issues upon which you cannot reach agreement. The mediation process is completely voluntary. It is also confidential. Barton Pokras is a divorce lawyer, family law attorney and mediator with offices in Westlake Village and Ventura, serving all Ventura County. With more than 20 years of California family law experience he is able to help you evaluate the matters in controversy, facilitate communications, and help you negotiate a fair agreement with your spouse amicably and with dignity. Once agreement has been reached Barton can prepare a complete and legally enforceable marital settlement agreement that complies with the California family law. He can also prepare whatever legal forms are necessary to obtain your divorce, and arrange for filing and processing by the court. In situations where you need the help of a financial expert to help you analyze and understand financial documents, or where the assistance of a child therapist would help you structure a parenting agreement, Barton Pokras can arrange for obtaining the services of a neutral professional who is familiar with the divorce mediation process. Barton Pokras also serves as a consulting attorney for parties that are having their divorce mediated by another mediator. He can attend the mediation sessions with you and participate in the mediation if so desired. He can also help you strategize in preparation for the mediation negotiations, and help you prepare the necessary disclosure documents. Collaborative Divorce : Collaborative Family Law, like divorce mediation, is a process to resolve family law disputes without going to court. Attorneys trained in the Collaborative Process represent both spouses, and an agreement is signed at the beginning of the case by both spouses and both attorneys in which all agree to the Principles and Guidelines of the Collaborative Process. Barton Pokras is a Collaborative Family Law attorney. He belongs to Collaborative Divorce Practice groups in Ventura and Los Angeles counties. He has offices in Ventura and Westlake Village, and is the 2009 president of the Coalition for Collaborative Divorce, a non-profit organization serving Los Angeles and Ventura counties since 1999. The main principles include the agreement that both parties want to resolve their divorce without going to court, that neither spouse nor attorney will seek court intervention, and that both spouses wlll be cooperative and voluntarilly provide whatever financial or other information is necessary. Even though the Collaborative Process is designed to allow the parties to proceed with dignity and respect, it is still a divorce and the emotions and conflict don’t immediately disappear just because the Collaborative Agreement has been signed. Rather, the collaborative process is designed to deal with the emotions and conflict that may arise in a divorce, such that the spouses can voluntarily resolve their issues without the need for a third party (such as the court) to intervene and make their decisions for them. The Collaborative Process is recognized by the courts, pursuant to statute (Calif. Family Code Section 2013) and the court will enforce the provisions of the agreement. One of the main benefits of the Collaborative Process over Mediation is where one of the spouses is in a more powerful position, for example as a result of the personal dynamics of the couple, or because one of the spouses has more financial information, or is in control of this information, — the fact that each of the spouses has their own attorney will ensure that each of the spouses are properly advised and that their interests are given proper consideration in reaching an agreement. The collaborative divorce process, like divorce mediation, allows the parties more control over their own destiny, provides privacy that cannot be obtained in a court case, and allows for more creative solutions than could be achieved in court. Barton Pokras has over twenty years of family law experience to help guide you through the collaborative divorce process. “Do It Yourself” Divorce : Many couples are able to reach an agreement on all or most of the issues that present themselves. They may need help putting their agreement in writing or in knowing which documents need to be filed with the court, and when. Barton Pokras provides unbundled legal services to assist you in any of the aspects that you need help with, and has no minimum fee for providing this advice, which is billed on an hourly basis according to how much time you need. This could be as simple as reviewing an agreement that you have written up yourselves, advising you which documents are necessary to be filed, or answering any particular questions you may have. While the majority of divorces do not involve complex or difficult legal issues, it is important to know whether there are any issues in your divorce that will require careful planning or analysis. The division and distribution of pension plans, for example, is a very complex area, and should not be attempted without expert advice. Spousal support payments are generally taxable to the recipient and tax deductible to the payor. This is another area in which careful planning can decrease the tax bite — leaving more funds available for the spouses. With more than 20 years of family law experience he stands ready to guide you through the divorce process. Divorce Litigation : Litigation is necessary when either of the spouses refuses to have their divorce process take place outside of court. This may be a wise decision if the other spouse is abusive, dishonest, has mental health or substance abuse issues, or the spouses are unable to communicate with each other so as to be able to negotiate and reach an agreement. In such cases the court will make decisions for the couple, and any minor children. Barton Pokras is an experienced family law attorney with over 20 years of divorce litigation experience. In the event that your spouse has hired an aggressive, “hold no bars, take no prisoners attorney”, Barton Pokras can protect your interests and help to keep the costs of your divorce down by refusing to engage in the unnecessary, unreasonable and costly litigation tactics that are all too often employed by these lawyers. Unfortunately these lawyers often convince their clients that nasty litigation is the most effective way to proceed. Needless to say, it is the most expensive, most destructive, and least effective means of proceeding. Barton Pokras has been highly successful in the litigation results he has obtained for his clients by being honest, amicable, diligent, thorough in preparation and dedicated to working for a favorable resolutionn. As a litigator, and as a negotiator, he brings over twenty years of experience to help you obtain the best possible results.


“What I liked most was he listened to me”

After my ex-spouse made a custody change without discussing with me, I contacted Mr. Pokras. He immediately understood the urgency of my case, had paperwork complete the same night…

Chuck, Ventura County

“With his sincere compassion for me as a person, he shattered the perceived mold of a typical lawyer”

He was highly professional, remarkably proficient in the law and all its nuances, and persistently resolved in achieving what was equitable with incredible creativeness, especially in the courtroom…

Sandy, Ventura County

“He was an engaged advocate committed to protecting my position throughout”

My experience with Barton Pokras started out great and just got better! At the outset, he was able to put me at ease during a very difficult divorce process. His expertise was evident immediately. His measured, consistent, calm approach finally won the day...

Peter, Ventura County

“Barton is a wonderful human being to have in your corner through a tumultuous and emotional divorce proceeding”

Before hiring Barton I asked him to keep the focus on my daughter's future interests, and not get distracted by the emotional roller coaster. He did just that!

D.C., Ventura County

See More Testimonials

Location The Law Offices of Barton Pokras

Serving clients throughout Ventura County and Southern California, including Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Ventura, Oxnard,
Camarillo, Newbury Park, Ojai, Fillmore, Santa Paula, Moorpark, Simi Valley, Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Woodland Hills, Encino and Malibu

Ventura Office

1198 Navigator Drive #20
Ventura, CA 93001
Phone: 805-477-0505

Fax: 844-646-5658
Email: Barton@PokrasLaw.com

Westlake Village Office

3075 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd.
Westlake Village, CA 91362
Phone: 805-477-0505

Fax: 844-646-5658
Email: Barton@PokrasLaw.com