When ending a marriage, many couples don’t realize they have any options outside of the highly publicized litigable method of separation. In practice, options outside of litigation may be highly preferable to the often highly destructive and emotionally charged court battle.
Outside of divorce litigation, couples have two options. The first, annulment, is very specifically legally defined and only applicable to a small percentage of marriages. Annulment is typically only available to parties whose marriages have been either illegally or improperly conducted, as in the case of bigamy or to facilitate fraud, or for parties who are deemed incapable of performing as needed in a partnership, as in the case of those incapable of consummating a marriage.
The third option is a process called mediation. Mediation involves the use of a neutral third party to guide the couple through the process of separation, divvying up assets and resources and facilitating negotiations over items of interest such as spousal support and custody over children.
Mediation is typically a much smoother and more constructive process than traditional divorce litigation, since parties are not incentivized to fight tooth and nail over every item. Mediation turns the zero-sum game of divorce into a cooperative and amicable separation, where each party leaves the relationship with their bridges intact.
The key to a successful mediation process is the mediator themselves. No matter how amicable the parties may be, the act of separating is an inherently emotional event and it’s easy to succumb to the baser aspects of our souls as we see items and people stripped away from us.
For southern California readers who are in the process of separating from their spouses, this means getting in contact with Colleen McNamee, divorce expert and mediator. She has been working with couples during the darkest and most stressful periods of their lives for decades, and yet has managed to accrue an astonishing number of glowing testimonials from her clients over the years.
A few short examples from her Google page:
“As a financial planner, I see my clients go through a number of changes in their lives and sometimes it includes a separation/divorce. Mediation is the far better option when dissolving a marriage as it puts a lot less strain not only on the finances but also the emotions of everyone involved. This is where Colleen McNamee stands out. As an attorney-mediator, she is extremely knowledgeable in her field, has two decades of experience, but also truly cares about her clients. Something that cannot be taught in law school is the gift of empathy and caring for others, which translates into achieving fair and equitable results for couples. Thanks to her very strong skill set and the services she’s able to offer, she remains a neutral counsel to both parties throughout the process, and the Agreements she drafts are far superior to any other divorce mediator I have seen! My clients have come out feeling like they were treated fairly, received their equitable shares, and can now move forward with their lives onto their next chapters.”
“I have known Colleen McNamee for over two years and I love how she handles people who are having marriage problems. She is always interested in what is best for everyone involved, especially for any children. Sometimes, it’s a “marriage contract” that she draws up to help people stay together amicably instead of getting a divorce. If divorce is the only option, then unlike a contentious court divorce with attorneys pitting spouses against each other in public and draining the couple’s bank accounts, Colleen can get couples working together for the best solution, at far lower cost, and it’s a private matter. I highly recommend her services, and so do people who have gotten divorces through her because they often talk about how she made it so much less stressful than a courtroom divorce.”
You and your partner may not be right for one another, but that doesn’t mean you want to destroy the lives and family that you’ve built together. For those of us who do not want to burn our bridges, choose the third option of mediation, with Colleen McNamee.
4590 MacArthur Blvd Suite 500, Newport Beach, CA 92660
As the COVID-19 pandemic begins to slowly wrap up, we will be seeing report after report come out regarding the last year’s events and how it affected various industries. One industry whose report I was particularly interested in was in home improvement and how much people spent in remodeling their homes while they were shut in during the peak lockdown periods.
In one particularly lengthy deep dive into the statistics around home improvement, I happened to catch a glimpse of a tangential industry and how the pandemic affected them: pest control. With the huge number of additions being constructed by bored homeowners, pest control and termite exterminators were hard at work treating the new structures and providing spot treatments for buildings whose insides were exposed for the first time in decades.
With most people stuck at home, they had the added benefit of being able to spot termite infestations much earlier than usual, with 66% of pest control companies reporting that customers became aware of termite issues sooner than in the past. “Swarming”, or the initial stages of infestation, is often missed by homeowners who are away during the day for work. Many homeowners were able to witness the disturbing spectacle for the first time during their work-from-home escapades, which made for a much easier pest disposal process.
This hasn’t magically ended with the worst of the pandemic – many of us are still working from home, voluntarily or otherwise, and therefore may be blessed to see the swarms of termites encroaching on our domains. For those of you in southern California who are lucky enough to be chosen by the termite queens, Grand Oaks Termite Control can help get rid of your unwelcome guests quickly and for a reasonable price.
Why Grand Oaks? Well, they have one of the best ratings we’ve seen for a pest control company, with many customers raving about their customer service and their carpentry skills when patching up structures damaged by the invading insects:
“I highly recommended Grand Oaks Termite Control. I had an unusual situation where there were many areas of my wood paneling and roof that were affected by termites and wood rot. I have a decorative tree growing through the front part of my home which makes it very difficult to treat without damaging the tree. When Jason came for the preliminary inspection, he knew exactly how to effectively treat my home without harming my favorite tree. His estimate was very reasonable, and his communication was top notch. He kept me appraised of all the curve balls and never stuck me with any unexpected cost. I was very impressed with the workmanship of his teammate Gary who took care of all the woodwork, a true craftsman.
I can wholeheartedly recommend Grand Oaks without any hesitation.”
John B., Yelp Review
“If you have any type of termites or wood boring insect infestations, GRAND OAKS TERMITE CONTROL is the professional GO-TO exterminator company to resolve your issues. The owner, Justin Mater is a fully state licensed termite control specialist and is very knowledgeable about termite infestation and approaches towards exterminating its colonies. what I especially liked was his work ethics….they came as early as 6am in the morning (ON TIME!) to work on & treat my property….very much a NO BS straight-forward extermination company which does not mess around! If they said they will be there….they will be there to take care of your infestation problems! highly recommended!”
Don Tamba, Google Review
“We needed our house inspected and treated. Justin and Gary did an amazing job. They are professional, prompt, thorough, and experienced. We received our report and estimate in a timely manner. They came out and did their work diligently and expertly. We were informed of each step, and they finished the job as they had expected. We are so pleased with our experience with them; they do great work and are good-quality people. Thank you Justin and Gary!”
Linda W., Yelp Review
If you’re stuck at home and you’re noticing a strange uptick in the number of small, reddish brown winged insects, congratulations! You’ve been selected by the swarm. If you find this problematic for you and your home, give Grand Oaks Termite Control a call:
Here in sunny, arid California, many of the more environmentally- and cost-sensitive among us are looking at alternatives to the traditional grass turf for our front and back yards. While some settle on more hardy plants that require less water to grow, like clovers or Bermuda grass, others have decided to go with a more modern, technologically driven solution.
Artificial turf has begun sprouting up in a greater number of lawns with each passing year. With a water requirement of 0 gallons per year and production methods growing more advanced and allowing for better looking and cheaper turf, the fake stuff is looking more and more like the preferred alternative for the typical homeowner.
The secret to getting your artificial turf to look as natural and aesthetically pleasing as possible is an impeccable installation that contours with your space and provides adequate drainage to make sure that the place doesn’t flood when it does rain. The right installers can mean the difference between a yard that resembles a shoddy pool of plastic-filled water and one that you can barely tell is synthetic turf.
Hence our spotlighted company today, NowMow Synthetic Turf Installers, a local southern California company that has performed some of the best looking domestic turf installations we’ve seen so far. The company provides excellent service, far above it’s competition, which has made many of their customers ardent supporters on their various social media channels:
We can’t say enough about NoMow Turf & their General Manager Sierra. We have a very large front yard that was about 20 yrs old & after many yrs of fighting weeds, grub worms, crows tearing up the grass & rabbits eating big patches we had had enough. We did our research & decided on this company. Sierra is great & so easy to work with & her quote was very reasonable. The crew worked their butts off as our yard is not only large but sloped too which presents a challenge. Through the years the slope had become uneven & the crew graded it & made it look awesome! They worked for 2 1/2 days non stop & the end result is awesome. Needless to say we highly recommend NoMow Turf….you won’t be disappointed!!!
(Kevin H., Yelp Review)
Very happy!!! I did my homework and made the final choice to go with NoMow. Sierra was great to work with. Easy to talk to on the phone. Even easier in person. She came over, took measurements, answered all questions, explained everything in full detail. The guys came over and worked very hard, efficient, and no fooling around. They did a great job! Thank you NoMow!!!
(Lucia C., Yelp Review)
I had an accident with some expanding foam that resulted in me planning on having to replace a small part of my turf and green. I asked NoMow for a quote for replacement and owner Patrick offered some advice to get after it with a power washer before deciding to replace. After a week and change of washing, I’ve got it back to great condition. Thank you Patrick for the advice. I’d recommend NoMow for any of your artificial turf needs.
(Zack B., Yelp Review)
If you are looking for an ecologically friendly alternative to a natural turf lawn, get NowMow Turf to do the installation. Their service is exquisite, and the lawn you’ll be left with will be almost indistinguishable from the real thing.
ow’s the time to start planning next year’s home improvement projects, and today we’d like to give a little bit of focus to the oft-overlooked aspect of home ownership, the landscaping. All too often, people just have a spit of grass, some overgrown and poorly trimmed shrubbery on the periphery of their homes and call it a day, choosing to focus instead on the internal aesthetic of the home.
This is a major mistake, though. Nothing makes a home look less appealing on first glance than poor and lazy landscaping, though, not to mention all of the time you could be spending enjoying the amazing weather here in southern California but can’t because your yard is a total mess.
Alright, so you know you need to get it done – that’s a good first step. What’s next? Well, that’s obvious – you call the guys who are the best at not only doing the landscaping, but helping you plan it.
That means (if you’re in the San Diego area) calling Torrey Pines Landscaping company, the best of the best in our neck of the woods and beyond. Their projects are world renowned and have been winning awards for the better part of a decade now.
If you need proof, check out a couple of their projects, like this Del Mar backyard design or this Coronado landscape design and implementation. Better yet, take a look at some of their socials, where they have a perfect 5-star rating everywhere you care to look:
“Last fall we contacted Harry Thompson to redo our backyard. After considering a few other companies, we decided to go with TP Landscape Co. Harry was thorough, knowledgeable and listened to all our concerns/requests. I must say this was a big investment for us, but definitely worthwhile.
In the end, we were very pleased with the overall outcome, and just in time for Thanksgiving! His crew was respectful, hard-working and cleaned up at the end of each day. Dave, his project supervisor, was great to work with. You can tell he has a nice working relationship with the crew and clear communication with them.
Thank you TP Landscape Company for our new beautiful, tropical oasis! We look forward to firing up our built-in BBQ and fire pit. Also, it’s nice to know that you guys check up on us periodically to make sure things (sprinklers/timers/etc) are working as they should.”
– Gina L., Yelp
“Our backyard garden remodel just recently was completed by Torrey Pines Landscape and we could not be more thrilled with the execution and the final result! Harry Thompson and his crew designed our dream backyard and made it a reality. Our space is on a city-sized lot in the Banker’s Hill area and he addressed every challenge our space presented. The entire crew was completely respectful of our privacy, maintaining our security of our yard and keeping the site neat and tidy at the end of each day. Every day, either Harry or Mark would come and check in on the progress of the project and Harry had the crew rebuild part of our custom fountain because he was not satisfied with how it looked initially! Dave, the project supervisor was fantastic to work with and provided valuable insight for things concerning the BBQ island and how the layout would work best. Every single detail was considered, from dog-friendly plants to lighting. I can not recommend them highly enough, they are true craftsmen and if you can dream it, they can create it!”
– Kelli G., Yelp
If you need desperate assistance in getting your yard looking presentable and have either a basic idea or a grand scheme for the future, give Torrey Pines a call. They have a habit of making dreams come true with their work.
This year has reminded us that taking care of our bodies and monitoring our health is more important than ever. Getting proper exercise, maintaining a good diet, getting plenty of sunlight, and establishing a schedule for health screenings with medical professionals are all now recognized as essential aspects of a functional life in a pandemic-stricken world.
This new emphasis on health doesn’t stop with us, however! Our furry friends and pets shouldn’t be neglected in terms of proper health procedures, which includes regular veterinary diagnostics to make sure that their little bodies are as healthy and solid as our own.
To these ends, today we’re spotlighting a veterinary service that is as well adapted to the times we live in as any we’ve ever seen – a telemedicine practice that offers diagnostic analysis, veterinary consultation, and all sorts of cardiac reading interpretations provided by one of the best pet cardiologists in the country. We’re talking, of course, about Carley Saelinger at Cardiac Vet, a seasoned veteran who provides vet consultation services for pets suffering from heart problems and disease or is at risk of acquiring them.
Cardiac Vet provides worried pet owners the diagnoses they need to make the correct decisions about treatment and therapy for their companions. The service is based on referrals, where a primary care veterinarian contacts Carley to do the in-depth analysis needed to give the animals the absolute best course of treatments they need to live a happy and fulfilling life.
Carley is, of course, a highly experienced cardiologist, with years of work at famed Los Angeles-based VCA ASEC, an animal hospital and emergency center that provides owners with the specialists they need to get their pets back to their peppy, tail-wagging selves. Carley receives special mention in a number of different reviews for VCA ASEC, with clients noting her delicate touch and genuine compassion for her furry patients:
Our beautiful cat Kai was diagnosed with a heart condition when he was about 2 yrs old and we were referred to VCA ASEC by our Vet. The care and compassion given by all the staff was exemplary and we knew we were in excellent hands. Dr. Carley Saelinger (Dr. Carley) was Kai’s doctor and when Kai died suddenly (which often happens to cats with cardiomyopathy) on June 24th one day after his 8th birthday, she took our call immediately and patiently talked with us sharing her sadness. Last week we received a book from ASEC entitled “The Cat” which had beautiful quotes and photos of feline companions. The pages were personally signed with a little remembrance by the staff that helped care for Kai…Doctor, ultrasound tech, cardio nurse, etc etc. What a wonderful gift. I wish he could have been with us longer but we are thankful for the time we had with him and recognize ASEC and the staff for helping make that happen.
– Toni W., Yelp Review
Cardiac Vet will provide your pet with the best treatment plans possible to extend their longevity and provide them with the most pain-free and fulfilling lives possible if they have been diagnosed with a heart disease or issue. If you think your dog or cat may be suffering from a cardiovascular issue, get your primary veterinarian to refer their case to Carley – she’s the best at what she does.