We guide you each step of the way in moving on to the next stage of your life with dignity and respect.
Matthew J. Long
Helping Families With Their Legal Needs Since 1992
After 28 years of witnessing the unnecessary expenses, delays and emotional pain of court-centered divorce, I am no longer willing to participate in a system where divorcing clients have no control.
I am proud to be a strong advocate and leader in Divorce Mediation and Collaborative Divorce in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties. I offer you what I believe to be the most sane, dignified, efficient and cost-effective ways to get divorced.
Law Practice Focus
A great option if you and your spouse are not adversarial, have similar goals around custody, can benefit from legal education around issues that are challenging (including asset division) and desire a properly written Marital Settlement Agreement.
You, your spouse and both of your attorneys agree NOT to go to court. Instead, you agree to have a team of professionals help you get through this process in the most respectful and peaceful way
A Prenuptial Agreement is recommended when there are substantial premarital assets, children from a previous marriage and/or a desire for things to be clear in the event of a divorce or upon the death of one of the spouses.
Estates, Wills & Trusts
Estate planning is a cost-effective process in which you ensure that, upon your death, your assets go where you want. You also identify who should handle you affairs upon your death or in case you become unable to care for yourself and you specify your end-of-life preferences.
A “qualified domestic relation order” (QDRO) is a domestic relations court order that splits a retirement plan or pension plan and acknowledges that there is joint ownership in all or part of the plan due to marriage.
Divorce Coaching helps you feel more confident and empowered throughout the divorce process. It helps you stay realistic, focused on your priorities and offers emotional support. If helps you identify which divorce process is right for you, know how to select and deal with an attorney and get organized.
Professional and Educational Background
- 28 years Family and Civil Law experience.
- Small Claims Judge Pro Tempore for 11 years. Settlement Master for Family Law, Civil, and Unlawful Detainer for 12 years.
- Extensive Mediation and Collaborative Divorce training and experience.
- Graduated Order of the Coif from Pacific McGeorge School of Law.
- Pro Bono Attorney of the Year, 2016, Santa Barbara Superior Court
- Member of Santa Barbara Superior Court Family Law Rules Committee in 2010 and 2011.
- President of the Santa Barbara Collaborative Law Group since 2007, recruited Board of Directors, organized and conducted training events.
- Member of the Board of Directors for Santa Barbara Family Education, Inc. (i.e., Children in the Middle).
- Member, Board of Directors of the Santa Barbara Women Lawyers Association
- Extensive Family Law trial experience in all aspects of custody, support, contempt, and domestic violence matters.
- Skilled in using the DissoMaster guideline child and spousal software.
- 11 years of experience as Minor’s Counsel.
- Ability to accurately analyze income of self-employed individuals aided by: Training and experience in principles of finance and asset valuation; Personally maintaining law office accounting software; Experience as treasurer of a non-profit corporation; and Training in tax and accounting issues.
- Counsel for Respondent: In re Marriage of Williams (2001) 88 Cal.App.4th. 808.
RELEVANT PROFESSIONAL TRAINING
- CFLR Advanced Family Law Training 2011
- Minor’s Counsel Training – Santa Barbara County Bar Association 2008
- Various Advanced Collaborative Practice Training – I.A.C.P. 2006-2008 Basic Collaborative Law Training – Chip Rose, J. D. 2003
- Small Claims Mediation Internship – The Community Mediation Program 2000
- Basic and Intermediate Mediation Training – Judith Rubenstein, J. D. 2000
Juris Doctor with Distinction 1987-1990
- Pacific McGeorge of Law
- Order of the Coif. Class Rank: top 10%. American Jurisprudence
- Award in Contracts.
- Traynor Honor Society.
- Attorney and Supervisor for Community Family Law
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration 1983-1987
- California State University, Long Beach.
- Graduated with Honors.
- Emphasis in Finance and Businees Administration.
I help you identify your most important needs, both in terms of the process of your divorce and the final agreement, resulting in solutions you can live with.
I support you and your spouse to communicate your needs in a respectful way that allows you and your spouse to reach reasonable solutions while maintaining your dignity.
Full Examination of Choices
A full examination of the various choices presented in a divorce usually helps couples feel at peace with the decisions they have made, knowing that they have done the best they can to meet their own needs as well as addressing their spouses needs