Matthew J. Long
My goal is to put you, the client, in the best possible place to make good decisions about how to resolve your case. That involves acknowledging where you are emotionally, educating you on the legal framework within which you are negotiating and gathering all of the facts necessary to making a reasonable decision. I want you to end this process believing that you got your most important needs met and that you did so with dignity and respect. I am gratified to have the opportunity to make available to you the peaceful resolution of your divorce (and any related Family Law disputes) utilizing my decades of legal experience and training.
An Eye on your future
Guiding You Through A Peaceful Divorce
I have been a divorce attorney since 1992. I was trained as a divorce mediator in 2000 and received my first training in Collaborative Divorce in 2004. In 2018 I decided to stop taking on traditional court centered work and I now focus exclusively on Collaborate Divorce and mediation. Here’s why:
I litigated divorce cases for over 25 years, and rarely did I see anyone coming out of that process feeling good about themselves or the outcome. Litigation takes the control of the process away from the client and puts it first in the hands of the attorneys – and if there is no settlement – in the hands of a judge. But attorneys and judges don’t know as much about the client’s situation as the clients do. Client’s feelings and needs in the process are not recognized. There is no chance of a “good outcome,” only a “less bad” outcome, with the deciding factors on whether that “less bad” outcome is achieved being controlled by the attorneys and judges. The outcome of far too many cases appeared to me to be arbitrary and capricious. After trying a case in court for eight days (which were spread out over five weeks because of the court’s scheduling problems), only to arrive at an outcome that was unsatisfying and expensive for both parties, I decided that I could no longer participate in good conscious in a system that requires clients to pay such an enormous cost (both financially and emotionally) for such an unsatisfactory process.
It is my experience that Collaborative Divorce and Mediation reduce the trauma of divorce, increase the possibility of both parties feeling good about how they showed up during the process, and help make the adjustment for children much easier. These out of court processes offer healthier ways for people to move through this painful part of their lives in a way that can often be empowering. Now that I no longer go to court I can once again feel proud of my profession and I feel honored to be associated with attorneys, coaches, and financial professionals who are committed to the peaceful resolution of what can often be the most difficult and stressful transition in our client’s lives.
OVERVIEW OF MATTHEW’S CREDENTIALS
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.
President of the Santa Barbara Collaborative Law Group since 2007
Graduated Order of the Coif from Pacific McGeorge School of Law.
Pro Bono Attorney of the Year, 2016, Santa Barbara Superior Court
Member of Board of Directors of the Santa Barbara Woman’s Lawyers Association
Member of Santa Barbara Superior Court Family Law Rules Committee, 2010-2011.