– 1114 State Street, Suite 222, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
MATTHEW J. LONG
Attorney, Mediator and Collaborative Professional
I help divorcing couples who want to end their marriage efficiently, fairly, and with dignity. My clients want to leave this phase of their life behind having grown as a person and as a parent. However, with over 28 years of experience as a family law attorney, I know that attorneys operating in the traditional divorce system are rewarded for conflict, inefficiency, and irresponsible behavior. Consequently, the traditional system emphasizes the search for bad conduct without addressing the high financial and emotional cost of that quest. This is a system that works poorly for the average person. Therefore, two years ago I quit the traditional system and I now limit my practice to mediation and collaborative divorce.
I graduated in the top 10% of my class from Pacific McGeorge of Law and became a member of the California Bar in 1990. In 1992 I opened my own law office and began focusing on Family Law. I have had extensive trial experience in all areas of family law including custody, support, property, contempt, and domestic violence matters. I have 12 years of experience representing children in family law cases. I was counsel for Respondent in the published appellate case Marriage of Williams (2001) 88 Cal.App.4th. 808. Because I was a small claims “Judge Pro Tem” (temporary judge) for 11 years I know how judges see things.
Since taking extensive training in mediation in 2000, I have helped hundreds of people dissolve their marriages while maintaining control over the process and keeping their sanity. I was trained in the Collaborative Divorce in 2007. I am now the president of both the Santa Barbara Collaborative Divorce Group and the San Luis Obispo Collaborative Divorce Group.
From this extensive experience, I agree to work with you to identify your most important needs and to help you gather the information you need to make good decisions. I agree to teach you to negotiate in a respectful manner that will lead to agreements. I agree to document those agreements so that they are reliable and enforceable. I agree to work with you to create a time frame and budget that is realistic and achievable.
Although not everyone is strong enough to navigate a peaceful divorce, if you are qualified to do this work I will help you obtain the information you need, help you understand you goals and what to expect, and smoothing your path to a new and better life.