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I practice family law, as an attorney and as a mediator.

Contact me so I can help you decide the best way to proceed.

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Over 15 years of experience

I am a family law mediator and a family law litigator.

Whether you're going through a divorce, a child custody dispute, or a request for spousal support, there are generally two ways to go: You can fight it out in the courts, or you can try to resolve the issues through mediation.

Although I can help you in the courts, I highly recommend that you let me first try to help you through mediation.
Mediation takes place out of court, so you and your partner – not a judge – make the decisions. In mediation, you can express yourself in ways that simply aren't possible in a courtroom setting. In court, your attorney generally does the talking for you, and the judge has a limited amount of time to hear your case. In mediation, on the other hand, you do the talking--there are no attorneys--and you have as much time as you like. There can also be dialogue in mediation, instead of just attorneys arguing with each other before a judge who has heard it all before and has other cases to hear besides yours.
Unfortunately, some cases can't be mediated. Mediation only works if both parties are willing to participate and compromise. In those situations, you may be best served by going to court, and I can help you with that also.

These are painful, personal issues. I would like to help you resolve them if I can. Please give me a call so I can help you decide the best way to proceed.

Our areas of practice
What we do and what can you expect from us.
Child Custody &
Dissolution of Marriage & Domestic
Spousal Support &
Child Support
Division of Assets & Debts
Joel H. Tranter
Family Law Attorney

I practice family law for the opportunity to support people through difficult times and circumstances. It’s as simple as that: I want to help people survive difficult times and move forward.

 When I started practicing family law, I did what most family law lawyers do: I focused on litigation. I wanted my clients to win in court! But it didn’t take long to see the reality of most family law cases: No one “wins.” Court proceedings can be unsatisfying and traumatic even for the “winner” of a particular motion or trial. 

For that reason, I have always tried to keep my cases from going to court. I try to reach resolution through negotiation and settlement. After nearly 14 years of practice, I am convinced this is optimal for everyone in the long run. However, negotiation and settlement are possible only when both parties and both attorneys are on board, and that is not always the case. Sometimes court is unavoidable, but I will work just as hard to reach resolution in court as I do outside of court.

I also practice divorce mediation, which can help people resolve these issues on their own, without courts or attorneys. As a mediator, I don’t represent either party, and I have no agenda; I am simply trying to help both parties reach a resolution so they can move on with their lives. 

I grew up in Berkeley, so I am particularly grateful for the chance to live here again and to work throughout the Bay Area.

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To make an appointment or just ask a question.

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