Ardent for Life Summer 2019

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LANA Shearer Law and Mediation

Attorney Lana Shearer understands the value of a long term marriage and the hard work and dedication that is required to preserve that bond. Her parents have been married for over 56 years. When her own marriage of 17 years came to an end in 2018, she had to confront the overwhelming sense of failure, helplessness and fear that inevitably appear at the end of a marriage. She and her former husband have two teenage boys which added the heart wrenching task of talking to the kids about divorce and figuring out a parenting plan that would result in the least amount of disruption in their boys’ lives. These are the very issues that Ms. Shearer helps her clients process and resolve on a daily basis. “Time to practice what I preach,” she said. Together, they found a mediator to help them with their divorce. Throughout the process, which took about 10 months total, the couple endeavored to keep the best interest of their children at the forefront of all of their discussions and negotiations. This dedication to their children motivated the couple to reduce the emotional and financial costs of their divorce and be willing to negotiate fairly and reach agreements regarding the issues presented: division of assets and debts; support; child custody and a parenting schedule. For over 20 years, Lana M. Shearer has been passionate about serving her clients with compassion, empathy and competence. When she opened her Family Law and Mediation practice in Elk Grove, California in August of 2014, she had years of litigation experience in many differ60. - Summer 2019

ent areas of law under her belt. During her years of litigation practice, she discovered that highly charged litigation generally brings out the worst in people. A common thread in most litigated cases is the fundamental need to be truly heard. The litigation process is not designed to meet that need. Instead, it results in polarizing the parties and increased anxiety and animosity. Family law is one of the most emotionally charged areas of law involving highly personal issues fraught with fear and anxiety. The fallout from a litigated divorce is deeply felt by the parties, their children, their friends and other family members. One of the most difficult subjects in family law are highly contentious child custody disputes. Long after the litigated case is over, the parties will need to cooperate and co-parent with each other well into their children’s adult years. There are options to handle your divorce

and custody issues without increasing anxiety and animosity. Ms. Shearer focuses her practice on family law mediation to assist parties to resolve their disputes in a manner that can reduce the emotional and financial impact. Mediation is an alternative to a litigated case. Its focus is on meeting the needs of each party, as well as the entire family, through discussions and negotiations rather than the adversarial process. Ms. Shearer is a certified Family Law specialist and mediator who facilitates and supports the discussions between the parties so they can reach their own agreements. The negotiations occur in a series of meetings with both parties and the mediator, in a relaxed, confidential environment where each person is encouraged to listen to the other party’s perspective, without an obligation to agree, and to have an opportunity to express or offer an alternative perspective. The media-