Location & Mailing Address

1400 Shattuck Avenue, Suite 12-124
Berkeley, CA 94709

Telephone (Please use for all initial inquiries)


Deborah is listed in Super Lawyers

We are a Collaborative Practice

We are a Collaborative Practice


Mediation is a process for resolving disputes between two people through meeting and discussing their issues with the assistance of a neutral mediator. It can be used to resolve any family law dispute. The mediator helps the parties who are in a family law dispute arrive at solutions that will work for both people. The mediator does not make the decisions. The parties have the power to make their own joint decisions, regardless of what the law may provide or how a judge may rule.

The mediator facilitates the disclosure of all relevant information, helps each person articulate their goals and needs, organizes the discussion of options, provides resource information and referrals to needed experts, explains the law, facilitates selecting the best resolution for both parties, and prepares the final settlement agreement.

Ms. Marx is trained and experienced in mediation and has served as the mediator in many family law cases, covering all aspects of family law.

In-depth issues related to child custody are generally referred to a mediator trained as a clinical psychologist.

The mediation process is confidential – nothing said in mediation can be used by either party during litigation, in the event that mediation is terminated.

Family Law Consulting

For clients who are obtaining a divorce through the traditional court process, Ms. Marx provides consulting services.

Ms. Marx practices in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.

Ms. Marx drafts and reviews Pre-Marital Agreements, Post-Marital Agreements, Pre-Registration Agreements and Post-Registration Agreements.

Collaborative Divorce

In Collaborative Divorce, also referred to as Collaborative Practice or Collaborative Law, couples who are divorcing or ending domestic partnerships or other non-marital relationships, work with trained professionals as a team to resolve disputes respectfully and fairly without using court intervention.

The terms Collaborative Divorce (or Collaborative Law or Collaborative Practice) reflect a model that has been developed by practitioners around the country (and now around the world) starting in the 1980’s. The basic collaborative model involves two specially trained attorneys and their clients. However, many parties and attorneys have found that including other collaboratively trained professionals on the team, such as a child specialist, a financial specialist and/or mental health coach is the most effective way to resolve disputes.

Collaborative Divorce is different from traditional litigation in the following essential elements, which are set forth in the agreement signed by the parties and collaborative professionals at the outset of the case:

• negotiate a mutually agreeable settlement without using the court to decide any issue;
• engage in open communication and information sharing with full disclosure;
• search for and create shared solutions that take into account the important goals and priorities of both parties; and,
• all professionals involved in the case will withdraw from representing any party in the case if either party leaves the collaborative process and takes the case to court.

Thus, a hallmark of the Collaborative process is that agreement is reached through discussion and compromise, without the financial and emotional cost and uncertainty of outcome that are present in adversarial litigation involving the court.

Ms. Marx has been trained in the collaborative process and has experience handling collaborative cases. She is a member of the local collaborative practice group as well as other collaborative professional associations. For more information, consult the following websites:

International Academy of Collaborative Professionals: www.collabgroup.com

Collaborative Practice East Bay: www.collaborativepracticeeastbay.com