Divorce at Altitude: A Podcast on Colorado Family Law

The Future of Family Law and Marital Agreements or Contracts with John Hoelle | Episode 130

November 23, 2022 Ryan Kalamaya & Amy Goscha Season 1 Episode 131
Divorce at Altitude: A Podcast on Colorado Family Law
The Future of Family Law and Marital Agreements or Contracts with John Hoelle | Episode 130
Show Notes Transcript

Today on Divorce at Altitude, Ryan and family law attorney/mediator John Hoelle discuss how the evolution of thinking in the family law space has effected how some clients want to approach the end of their marriage. John is the co-founder of Conscious Family Law and Mediation and his practice is dedicated to helping clients navigate their divorce in a collaborative way that doesn't cause unnecessary damage. 

They discuss how making a contract or agreement as a safety net when a couple is in a loving space can allow for a less contentious divorce process down the line. We also discuss how the current court system can create an adversarial environment for some couples facing divorce and how a more collaborative approach can make the divorce process less stressful on both parties. 

Key Points From This Episode:

  • How thinking around contracts and marital agreements has changed over time.
  • Timing of creating marital or parenting agreements and how it can help the dissolution of a marriage go more smoothly.
  • How the evolution of marriage contracts can affect a judge's role in divorces.
  • How the litigation system creates an adversarial environment and ways to try and keep clients from getting to that point. 
  • The future of family law when it comes to mediation.
  • How the future of family law will come to incorporate some elements of collaborative divorce.
  • How a collaborative approach can help both parties in many divorce situations.
  • How a post-nuptial agreement or contract can help someone feel safe in their marriage 
  • About John’s firm and how you can contact them.  

What is Divorce at Altitude?

Ryan Kalamaya and Amy Goscha provide tips and recommendations on issues related to divorce, separation, and co-parenting in Colorado. Ryan and Amy are the founding partners of an innovative and ambitious law firm, Kalamaya | Goscha, that pushes the boundaries to discover new frontiers in family law, personal injuries, and criminal defense in Colorado.

To subscribe to Divorce at Altitude, click here and select your favorite podcast player. To subscribe to Kalamaya | Goscha's YouTube channel where many of the episodes will be posted as videos, click here. If you have additional questions or would like to speak to one of our attorneys, give us a call at 970-429-5784 or email us at info@kalamaya.law.



Ryan Kalamaya (3s):
Hey everyone. I'm Ryan Kalamaya.

Amy Goscha (6s):
And I'm Amy Goscha.

Ryan Kalamaya (8s):
Welcome to the Divorce at Altitude A Podcast on Colorado. Family Law.

Amy Goscha (12s):
Divorce is not easy. It really sucks. Trust me I. Know. Besides being an experienced divorce attorney, I'm also a Divorce client.

Ryan Kalamaya (20s):
Whether, you are someone considering divorce or a fellow family law attorney. Listen in for weekly tips and insight into topics related to Divorce Co Parenting and Separation in Colorado. Welcome back to another episode of Divorce Altitude. This is your co-host, Ryan Kalamaya. This week I am joined by John Hoelle And. We are going to talk about the future of family law Amy And. I have frequently talked about tech and its role in our firm and some of the cutting edge issues that we deal with in terms of actually practicing law. We've also, in previous Episodes, talked about modern trends, but this week we are gonna hear from John about some issues that we've never talked about, parenting contracts and having a mission statement or values for married couples in the event that there is a Divorce and a variety of of other issues.

Ryan Kalamaya (1m 21s):
I've been looking forward to this conversation for a while. So let me tell you a little bit about our guest. John is a Boulder mediator and lawyer. He graduated from CU Law Go Buffs, and he's the published author of a book and principle at Conscious Family. So John, before I go on, welcome to the show.

John Hoelle (1m 44s):
Thanks so much Ryan. Really glad to be here.

Ryan Kalamaya (1m 46s):
So why don't you tell listeners a little bit about your background as you know, relevant for the discussion on Divorce and Family law So that we know a little bit more about and your perspective on things.

John Hoelle (2m 1s):
Thanks Ryan. Yeah, so on the second career attorney and went to CU Law, And I had no idea that I was gonna go into family law. I thought maybe I'd work in policy or something like that and, but came out of there and while studying for the bar had to learn some about family law and had gone through a Divorce myself and so realized this is an area that I, I get this And I can help people in this area. Along the way I'd also gotten trained in the healing arts before going to law school. And I knew I wanted to bring something of that healing into my professional work. I had no idea what that meant. And getting into family law and eventually getting trained as a mediator and the collaborative approach to helping people get through Divorce has really been a fulfillment of that desire to do healing work.

John Hoelle (2m 50s):
One of my professors at at cu I remember talked about lawyers having a sort of a sacred role as social repairers or that that's their kind of the basis of that role. And that was a big part I think in directing me into wanting to do this kind of work that's very high touch, you know, directly impacting people's lives, going through a tough time that I can resonate

Ryan Kalamaya (3m 11s):
With. Yeah, on your guys' website, you, on your bio John, you've got a reference that people frequently ask you how you can do what you do, which is something that family law professionals we hear all the time and like you, I never thought that was gonna go into family law, so, but when you kind of get the bug or really see the pain and other things that are going on and, and you have that spirit of trying to repair and help, I think it really kind of takes hold of you. Totally. So let's talk about the benefits instead of kind of harping on the pain and damage, but let's really talk about the benefits to couples and their kids in putting down values early in a marriage and how that might be beneficial in the event that there is a Divorce.

John Hoelle (4m 4s):
Yeah, so you know, one of the things that I shied away from doing a lot of was prenuptial agreements for a long time. And it wasn't until, you know, a few years ago that we realized, okay, there are ways that that our firm can help create these sort of marital contracts that is actually really supportive to the people as they're getting married. And because so often it's a, the process of navigating a prenuptial contract is a, is a damaging one, a painful one when lawyers are involved right out of the gate and you have one lawyer handing a draft agreement to the other party and they're often so lopsided. And so it's something that we've been developing is what does it look like to have kind of a new paradigm, sort of prenuptial agreement that really is supportive to people.

John Hoelle (4m 51s):
And a lot of it has to do with finances and making sure that, you know, whatever might be separate at the outset during the course of the marriage that ultimately vests in the marriage, right? That's one component of it that you're actually over time growing more together. So that's a piece of it. But the parenting contract side of it is, you know, that's talk about the future of family law that's really kind of like, I mean we consider ourselves sort of a, a boundary pushing firm and this is sort of like beyond the boundaries, but it was at cu I have the pleasure of being in articles edit on the law review And I. I had a chance to edit a academic paper by a professor named Sarah Bratz and she later sent me an article that she had prepared about really building up the argument as to why parenting contracts should be enforceable.

John Hoelle (5m 40s):
And that's not really the case right now. It's like the right judges and courts aren't going to just take a contract that two people sign, two parents sign and just enforce it at this point in time. These are not enforceable kind of contracts in the way that we normally think about them. But she really made such a compelling argument to me about why this is something that should change and that when they're in a loving space, not in the middle of a Divorce, not in the middle of a breakdown, you know, put something down with clarity and precision around what it's gonna look like if something happens down the road. And so, and that really, if people who are in sound mind when they do that and the judges don't have to be such a gatekeeper later on, it's like because we already have child protective services, social services if, you know, if there's real harm that's going to come to a child, we already have safety nets there.

John Hoelle (6m 36s):
And so really what we're doing by considering as a culture to enforce contracts that people enter into around their kids is that we're empowering people to set forth something that's like let's say a 50 50 parenting schedule that might be a, a sort of a common thing that people might agree way ahead of time to say, Hey, if every anything ever happens, we agree that we're gonna be 50 50 parents, you know, unless there's some really harmful thing going on, like there's been domestic violence or something like that. We have the means to step in and avoid harm to kids if that kind of thing happens. But short of that we should be enforcing these things. And one of the compelling reasons I think is because the way it is now, you have almost a two tier system of families.

John Hoelle (7m 22s):
It almost goes against some of our constitutional values in the country to have one class of citizens, the intact family where there's no judge looking over everybody's shoulder about the decisions that they're making, about how they're parenting their kids. And then we have the second class of citizens that are the non-intact families that because there's been a Divorce because the relationship has broken down, now we have this parent figure, this big brother figure of the court breathing down everybody's neck every step of the way, And I think there's really a lot of, there's a lot of merit to that and this idea of allowing parents to have the autonomy and authority to enter private contracts and that the court's just gonna enforce it unless there's some really clear reason not to instead of what you have now, is this the default system where the judge always has, has to do a best interest analysis and come in and say here's what the court thinks is in the best interest of

Ryan Kalamaya (8m 19s):
The kids. Yeah, I mean there's a lot to unpack there. John And I think that that is, I have a couple follow up or clarifications and questions. So when you describe parenting contracts you are referencing when people are married and not thinking of a Divorce in the sense that it's not immediately on the horizon. Obviously one of your arguments of a contract is in the event of a Divorce, which is, you know, one of the motivating factors from entering into this agreement in the first place. But they are not doing it with Divorce on the doorstep, is that correct?

John Hoelle (8m 58s):
Correct. And by the way, it could even come into play with folks who are not married but who are unmarried parents.

Ryan Kalamaya (9m 3s):
Okay. So like a cohabitation agreement, but it's more of for parenting. And just so listeners are clear, what John is is referencing, we've talked about this Amy, And I have with Jim Bailey and amongst ourselves on the premarital agreement Episodes that we have that they'll be linked in the show notes. But the history of premarital agreements is similar to what you're saying John, and that it used to be that they were not enforceable because they were seen from a moral standpoint as motivating people for Divorce or people just were like, Divorce is bad from a public policy standpoint, Divorce is bad, we don't wanna have any ickiness or any agreement that it contemplates a Divorce cuz it's almost like outta sight outta mind.

Ryan Kalamaya (9m 50s):
But then, you know, really in the seventies there was a a big movement across the country, but these agreements were seen as financial agreements that were enforceable and hey these aren't so bad and actually they result in some predictability. And as far as what I hear you say, and as an aside before I get to kind of what I think you're saying is right now it is against public policy to have agreements that are enforceable for parenting, for child support, but they are enforceable for money. And what you are saying as far as I understand it, or at least what you found compelling in this article, is to take that the step, the next step and that is these agreements for parenting should be considered binding in, but then is that fair kind of summary?

Ryan Kalamaya (10m 48s):

John Hoelle (10m 48s):

Ryan Kalamaya (10m 49s):
And one of the things I think, you know, before we talked about on recording was that in your first marriage you guys didn't have kids but they, it would've been helpful if you had had kids for you to have kind of that understanding. Is that, do you wanna comment a little bit on that?

John Hoelle (11m 5s):
Yeah, I mean it's, you know, in retrospect obviously happy that we didn't have kids And, we didn't have to deal with that. But knowing what kind of stresses, you know, we went through and, and then certainly seeing it in, in my clients, it's like, it's the kind of thing where, you know, we were amicable but that would've been something that very easily could have brought in and almost certainly would have brought in a level of conflict that otherwise wasn't present. And I think that it's so And I dunno Ryan if you feel the same way I, I see in my practice that people unconsciously put their kids in the position of being pawns in their negotiations. Kids get used as sort of leverage against each other even when people don't, you know, consciously are trying to do that.

John Hoelle (11m 50s):
And so I think that's something that this can take it off the table if we, we say cuz there's laws around the country that are being considered around 50 50 parenting as presumptive, right? So this is the kind of thing that even if you don't have that as a statutory scheme, that you would have, you know, parents entering into these kinds of agreements, you know, joint decision making, 50 50 custody, right? That unless there's some really strong reason to do something else, it just takes that off the table

Ryan Kalamaya (12m 17s):
I think. Well, and that was gonna be my next question and I'm glad you brought that up because, and I'm wondering what your response would be to someone that would say, first of all, Colorado is, and Amy And I have kind of covered this, we've referenced this several times. And I mean the ABA has backed this up, that Colorado is generally seen as one of the most progressive states when it comes to parenting for at least fathers. I mean there's, there's not a legal presumption of equal parenting time or joint decision making, but you know, you're in Boulder, And I would imagine that you see the most, there's a general trend of judges enforcing equal parenting and what you are saying is referencing other states and that there are these regimes of presumption of equal parenting time.

Ryan Kalamaya (13m 8s):
So do you think that that presumption would be helpful in Colorado? And if so then, you know, I guess can you explain why and does it ameliorate or address the same concerns of parenting contracts that you found compelling or do you think that it would be helpful to go kind of a step further?

John Hoelle (13m 30s):
I think it's, it would be helpful in some ways. I think the parenting contract theory does go a step further in that it would take that authority away from the judge who right now is sort of, has to do this best interest analysis in every case. You know, if parents agree about what's in the, their kid's best interest at a time of Divorce, largely, I think judges are gonna approve it, but they still have to do this sort of from the beginning, a best interest analysis and this takes that away and it really, I think it would really in theory only give the judge the ability to say, is there some higher standard of harm, you know, going on that I have to look for And, I don't have to be doing this basic, like what's right for this kid?

John Hoelle (14m 17s):
Parents already know

Ryan Kalamaya (14m 18s):
That. So as far as I understand, so in essence the court would have a presumption either under the statutory regime of equal parenting time and I know there's different, I mean, but listeners maybe we can have an episode on at least what those are considered. But you know that that's like the, the starting point and which is similar to, not similar, but I know you came to law later it says the second career, but in, but you know, Robin Beatty, And I talked about the change in the maintenance statute and a lot of Divorce lawyers were very resistant, but the guidelines were intended to result in predictability and there's deviation and so can there be deviation? I guess the question then is a standard of review and like on a parenting contract, the court would apply whatever they agree equal parenting time or you know, hey, we're gonna have a different schedule and I'm gonna ask you more, a little bit about what those options are.

Ryan Kalamaya (15m 12s):
But in unless the children are endangered, because as you know, there's change. And one of the questions I have for you is, is like, you know, divorces change, it results in change in finances, lifestyle parenting. You frequently I'm sure see the kind of somewhat absentee father all of a sudden step up in a Divorce and become super dad. And then you know, the wife and our hypothetical Divorce clients, Eric and Melanie, Wolf, Melanie Wolf is like, well where did this come from Eric? Because if you had been this kind of present, we wouldn't have gone through a Divorce.

Ryan Kalamaya (15m 52s):
This episode is brought to you by our law firm, Kalamaya, Goscha Amy And I describe our law firm as an innovative and ambitious trial team that pushes the boundaries to discover new frontiers in family law, personal injuries in criminal defense in Colorado. We currently have offices in Aspen, Glenwood Springs, Edwards Denver and Boulder. If you wanna find out more, visit our website Kalamaya dot law. Now back to the show. How would that change that you see in your practice as a mediator? How would we reconcile that And I guess a followup, and this is kind of a rambling question, but that, what do you make of someone that agrees to a parenting plan or a parenting contract?

Ryan Kalamaya (16m 40s):
I mean I have an eight year old, a six year old And. I mean those, they have changed dramatically. Like every day I look at them I'm like, I can't believe it. I have an eight year old. But when you have a parenting contract, when they not even have kids, or maybe they're like one or two years old and all of a sudden we're talking about like 12 and 10 year olds.

John Hoelle (16m 59s):
Well, yeah, I mean as you know it, I guess I tell my clients that when, if they're in agreement, they have the keys to the kingdom, there's nothing really they can't do. But it's when they're in breakdown, you know, at the point of Divorce, at the point of breakup that they're being asked to negotiate these decisions around their kids. That's the part that ends up being so tricky. And I think that that outweighs the concern that, oh, the thing we thought was gonna be in their best interests, you know, at their time of their birth. And now it's not. Well, we can always agree to something different if we, but if we're fighting, I'm not gonna trust that you're actually making the right decisions more than you made even, you know, when the kids were

Ryan Kalamaya (17m 41s):
Zero. That's interesting, I appreciate that because I mean, one of the observations that we make for, you know, know Eric. Wolf is that if he's a sophisticated businessman, he has never been in a negotiation like he's about to embark on with His wife who he's sideways with because he is stuck in that negotiation and they're not getting along. There's a reason for a Divorce and you have it on your website. I mean the, the litigation system, the adversarial system is contrary just as a fundamental matter to children. And because it poses a father and a mother or you know, same sex couples parents against each other.

Ryan Kalamaya (18m 24s):
And that is not fundamentally, it's not good.

John Hoelle (18m 28s):
No, absolutely. I mean that's why we're so focused as we are on trying to keep people outta that process. And probably one of the biggest questions I have when clients come in And, they, they're interested in mediation or they've heard about it but they think, oh we're, we're in conflict. There's a level of distrust, there's a level of anger. Hey no surprise, you know, you're getting a Divorce, these things are are pretty common. Does that mean you can't mediate? Not at all. It's like, it's almost like a little bit of magic because I'll, when they, when they come And, they sit in my office And, they sort of look to me like, can we get through this? Even with this level of conflict, And I, look at them And, I say, yeah you can. And it's like, just by saying it, it's like I'm knighting them like yes, you are able to collaborate, you are able to, you know, work through these tough conversations.

John Hoelle (19m 15s):
Not that they're not sweaty conversations, you know, and the devil's in the details and sometimes it, it can be challenging to get through. But one of the things that I live for is folks coming through that process, And, they don't even have to come back to mediation later on when they have conflict down the road because they've learned the skills to work through tough issues together. Again, I'm mostly talking about parents here, right? Like they're gonna have ongoing things that they're gonna have disagreements about as their kids get older, but they've now learned they can get through those conversations And, they don't even have to come back to mediation cuz they, they have a felt experience of we can get through this.

Ryan Kalamaya (19m 49s):
So could you talk maybe about the future of family law as it relates to mediation? What are the things that you think are the future of mediation and then we'll get into lawyers fulfilling their role as social repairs next, but what are the things maybe differently that you foresee in the future or that you know your firm is doing that you don't think normal, traditional mediation? And just so people understand, you know, most of the time mediation I know, you said pro se people that don't have lawyers but And, they maybe they do have lawyers, but they go into mediation, there's a neutral third party. You a mediator like John and you do shuttle diplomacy, you go from one room to the other or you might have people in the same conference room and when things start getting heated then you kind of say, all right, go to your respective corners to kind of use the boxing metaphor, which is contrary to the spirit of what you're talking about.

Ryan Kalamaya (20m 45s):
But you know, can you talk about maybe the future of family law specifically with, as it relates to mediation?

John Hoelle (20m 51s):
Yeah, I mean I think that one of the key things there is practitioners being more comfortable really empowering their clients to, to direct their own story. And you know, I think as lawyers we're trained to spar, you know, we're trained to advocate and maybe not all of us coming outta law school have this sort of native orientation around being a neutral mediator. But those of us that do, I think to that social repair role, I think that's a, not that advocacy's going anywhere or should go anywhere. There's a absolutely a need for it and a place for it. But those of us who can function and happily in that neutral role I think can help people really author their own destinies in a way, you know, anchoring around what their goals are and that may not have anything to do with the law, right?

John Hoelle (21m 41s):
And, they have to understand enough about the legal landscape, which is why I think lawyer mediators are really, can do such a good service, especially in, in the area family law because you have to be able to navigate the landscape, let navigate a system that includes legal disentanglement, right? Legal entanglements and legal disentanglement. But families have their, they have their own goals and their own interests and it's a system. It's mom, dad, you know, or two moms, two dads, whatever. And kids, they all have their different goals, their different needs and the law isn't, you know, is a one size fits all kind of a thing. But I think what we try to do, And I think the future of this space is really starting from what are the goals and what are the values for these people and for this system and trying to architect the best outcomes from that point of view.

John Hoelle (22m 32s):
And then translating it and making it work within the legal structure that, you know, you need to follow to process the, the case with

Ryan Kalamaya (22m 38s):
The court. Well let's get granular or at least like talk about specifics. So when you talk about the future of family law with mediation, do you think that bringing in experts such as like Divorce planners or counselors or mental health professionals, can you maybe talk about that And I don't think that that is as common And I mean it's, we talked about before the show collaborative law and that was, it's a term of our, it was started in the history and it's a whole separate other episode, but that you foresee, correct me if I'm wrong, the future of family law incorporating some of those elements.

Ryan Kalamaya (23m 19s):
So could you maybe, you know, talk about how that relates to the mediation and what you've already covered? Sure,

John Hoelle (23m 25s):
Yeah, no, I mean I think I was trained in the collaborative model. I think it has a lot going for it in terms of the, it's a new paradigm of the way lawyers are thinking about what they're doing as helping people to collaborate and arrive at settlements out of court. But I think if the collaborative law process as kind of a formal, formal process, I think if that were like a real game changer, it would've taken over the industry by now and it just hasn't And I think that. So that's why I think lawyer mediators right now represent the best of the future. But taking some of those principles from the collaborative law process as we were talking about earlier, the, the team approach, but really putting together the team only as appropriate.

John Hoelle (24m 10s):
So if one lawyer mediator can help two parties navigate the process, great. That's the only team you need. But in a lot of our cases we absolutely are bringing on other team members most frequently a financial expert. So like a, a certified Divorce financial analyst, sometimes even a full CPA or somebody who, a cva, somebody who can do business valuations might be a really important part of the team as another neutral party. That's really where we try to, we try to utilize, you know, one professional to come in and be able to neutrally kind of consult and help people navigate the process. Maybe it's a child expert to help people, somebody who understands the custody evaluation landscape but isn't doing an evaluation.

John Hoelle (24m 53s):
They're coming in to help the parents, maybe even as a therapist to the children to help them navigate these tough issues. So I think a team approach is part of this future.

Ryan Kalamaya (25m 2s):
Right. Well and you, you know, that brings to mind in, as we record this, in the most recent Colorado lawyer there was a article by a business valuation expert kind of calling out the Colorado court in in particular the court of appeals in Colorado Supreme Court. Cuz there's so much uncertainty about business valuations and really asking for some predictability in what I hear you say is we have a lot of flexibility in family law, whether it be, you know, there's a mental health issue, there's a business valuation issue, there's certain, and the system as a whole is flexible enough to address those and there are cases that are not appropriate for collaborative law.

Ryan Kalamaya (25m 47s):
There's cases where the people are going to argue And, we have the optionality for those different systems. But what I hear you're saying is the majority, there's an underserved majority of people in Colorado looking at Divorce that could proceed forward in a much more efficient manner with an attorney mediator that may be augmented by evaluation expert or a custody, you know, evaluator and that you see that as the future of family law.

John Hoelle (26m 21s):
Yeah, just a much more kind of tailored, tailored process for people and, and by the way, that team can include advocates, right? Legal advocates. If the issues are complex enough that you know, and one or both parties maybe needs more consultation just for them, that goes maybe out beyond the scope, right? Of what lawyer mediator can do. And a lawyer mediator has to be careful that they don't fall into the trap of giving, you know, legal advice, right? To one side trying to, you know, helping one person maximize his or her legal position. That's definitely going beyond the the bound, right? I, so but sometimes that's important and so we're, we are making those recommendations, hey I think you each should get some consultation either during the mediation process or at minimum at the end, right?

John Hoelle (27m 9s):
These are, here's the legal agreements that you're considering signing. These are important legal agreements, right? Maybe you should get this reviewed.

Ryan Kalamaya (27m 15s):
Yeah, the unbundled or limited scope, we do that a fair amount Amy, she was intimately involved in that process and now she's kind of at the forefront of the paraprofessional legal program for giving people that guidance. And, I think that what you are talking about John really strikes a chord with what Amy, And I are trying to do. And me in particular in terms of that there's a lot of need. I'm not worried as a litigator, I mean that's primarily what I do, but I'm not worried about, you know, job security because there are going to unfortunately be people in that are gonna disagree. And that is at least what I do. But there's also a role and it's one of the reasons that we have this podcast, is to provide zero cost advice and, you know, angles and to really push people to think about And I, appreciate and commend what you guys are are doing there.

Ryan Kalamaya (28m 11s):
So can you tell people a little bit more about your firm and if you know, especially people in Boulder and Denver when you're talking offline, I have a big Boulder Divorce going on right now. So for people that wanna find out more about you guys, can you tell listeners about your firm and where they can find more information about you?

John Hoelle (28m 31s):
Oh, for sure. So yeah, we're at Conscious Family Law and Mediation, so you can find us@consciousfamilylaw.com. It's a spelling test, so you gotta be, be able to spell conscious. There's currently, we have four lawyers working at the firm. All of us do the kind of mediation I'm talking about. We focus on mediating for folks who don't generally, who don't have other professional advisors independently. So we're not doing as much of the attorney assisted mediation. We really focus on the folks who would otherwise be trying to maybe do it on their own. I tell people that when I was getting my Divorce in California, I thought I could do it with the court forms and I'm a smart guy. This was before I was a lawyer, but I took one look at it, I was like, you gotta be kidding me.

John Hoelle (29m 12s):
You know, I can't, this is, I can't do this on my own. Happily was able to find a, a firm somewhat like ours to, to help. But, so yeah, we are in Boulder. We do serve folks around the state because mediation can be accomplished very easily using Zoom or other teleconference platforms. And, we don't have to, as mediators, we can't actually file anything on people's behalf. So, you know, we're not appearing in court on anybody's behalf. So we do support folks statewide, but we're born and raised in Boulder. We, we opened our doors in 2014 and have really been focused on this. I think we're, we're a little bit unique as a law firm that's really, really focused on this, this mediation side of things. We have recently expanded into doing estate planning too.

John Hoelle (29m 53s):
So for, especially for folks who are coming through doing a Divorce and then, you know, coming out of that may need to revisit their state

Ryan Kalamaya (30m 1s):
Planning and you guys do relationship mediation or some other alternative kind of more futuristic progressive services. So can you maybe comment on that? Yeah,

John Hoelle (30m 13s):
We can't sort of help ourselves from trying to just innovate and do different things. So I did go to Brookline, Massachusetts to get trained in using mediation specifically to help folks who are trying to stay together. Cuz it's a little bit of a, it's different than the legal dispute resolution, right? A technique. And so yeah, we call that relationship mediation when folks are trying to explore how to stay together. And so the mediation there is looking at what kinds of arrangements make sense, right? Informally. So it's not coming out usually with a legal agreement, some kind of binding contract. It's coming out with informal arrangements on how do we live in the house together? How do we, you know, arrange for finances, how do we talk to each other?

John Hoelle (30m 56s):
How do we not talk to each other? Sometimes then that'll pivot into, it can turn into a legal contract like in the form of a postnuptial agreement, right? So a lot of people know prenups, but you can have a marital contract that helps people feel safe to stay in the contract of marriage, but maybe set forth some specific things like, okay, one spouse wants to open a business and or start a business. And okay, well you can use five or 10,000 of our marital money towards that, but hey, if we get divorced, that's coming outta your side. Something like that. Something that can help somebody stay safe while they're trying to work to stay within the

Ryan Kalamaya (31m 31s):
Marriage. Amy And I, describe Kalamaya Goscha as an innovative and ambitious law firm that pushes the boundaries to discover new frontiers in family law, personal injury and criminal defense. And John, you guys are definitely on the same path. You are discovering new frontiers and kudos to you for trying to do that social repairing that is unfortunately much needed out there. But really appreciate the time. Enjoy the conversation. And, I mean interested. I think we can maybe circle back on this episode and see where things stand on parenting contracts or some of the other new developments.

Ryan Kalamaya (32m 11s):
So look forward to continuing this conversation. Would

John Hoelle (32m 14s):
Love that. Yeah, thanks so much, Ryan for having me on.

Ryan Kalamaya (32m 16s):
Appreciate it. Well, until next time, thank you for joining us on Divorce at Altitude. If you found this episode helpful, feel free to leave us a review and more importantly, tell a friend about what you heard and hopefully John's advice and insight might be helpful for you or somebody else. So appreciate the time. Thank you Hey, everyone, this is Ryan again. Thank you for joining us on Divorce at Altitude. If you found our tips, insight, or discussion helpful, please tell a friend about this podcast. For show notes, additional resources or links mentioned on today's episode, visit Divorce at Altitude dot com. Follow us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen in.

Ryan Kalamaya (32m 60s):
Many of our Episodes are also posted on YouTube. You can also find Amy and me at Kalamaya.law or 970-315-2365. That's K A L A M A Y A.law.