Nicole M. Stednitz, Mediator and Collaborative Divorce Attorney
After going through my own divorce in my early-20s at the Torrance courthouse, I went to law school, became an attorney, and I immediately established my family law office in Torrance to guide other families in their legal transition. After 10 years of grueling court battles, and after I became a parent to young children, I made a conscientious decision to step away from the courtroom and work with families using mediation and collaborative divorce principles of conflict resolution. I counsel clients about the benefits of mediation and collaborative approaches so they may understand the legal framework and begin to start making cohesive and informed decisions about their children, property, and lives. In situations in which the family intentionally stays out of court, the end result of the case is typically less stressful, more cost-effective, more quickly resolved, and the family’s privacy can be maintained. I whole-heartedly endorse principles of collaborative divorce and mediation for families whose shared goal is to stay out of court, keep attorney’s fees low, manage the trauma of the breakup in a healthy ways, and preserve and strengthen the family bonds.
In mediation, the parents typically work with neutral professional(s) to educate the family about the legal process, facilitate productive settlement discussions, and assist the parties to reach agreements. In mediation, the parties are encouraged to obtain independent legal advice, but they do not have to. In collaborative family law cases, each party is supported by their own independent collaborative attorney, and the parties can decide if any additional professionals are needed, like mental health professionals who act as communication coaches or parenting coordinators, and neutral accountants who can prepare business valuations, cash flow reports, marital balance sheet, etc.
I am a member of A Better Divorce, Los Angeles Collaborative Family Law Association, Collaborative Practice California (CP Cal), International Association of Collaborative Professionals (IACP), and Bruin Professionals. I volunteer as the Family Law Chair of the Board of Directors for the South Bay Bar Association.
I spent my early years living in the South Bay of Los Angeles, attending elementary school in Gardena, California, before relocating to the Coachella Valley with my family and graduating from Indio High School. I studied at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) for five years as an undergraduate student and graduated with dual bachelors degrees in Political Science and History (Dean’s List Honors).
I earned my Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the University of Oregon School of Law. I took advantage of my law school’s programs in Legal Research and Writing (LRW) and Appropriate Dispute Resolution (ADR), each of which are ranked as “Top 10” legal programs in the United States by U.S. News & World Report. During law school, I served as an Associate Editor for Oregon Law Review, tutored Legal Research and Writing courses, trained colleagues on Westlaw & WestlawNext, served as a “Barbri” representative, and externed in Portland for the Honorable John V. Acosta, Federal Magistrate Judge for the United States District Court for the District of Oregon. I earned a 40-Hour Certificate in Mediation from the University of Oregon School of Law’s Appropriate Dispute Resolution Center. I am a licensed attorney in the State of California.
Ending Family Trauma Without Compensation: Drafting § 1983 Complaints for Victims of Wrongful Child Abuse Investigations, selected for publication in Oregon Law Review, available here as a PDF.
From 2013-2018, I volunteered pro-bono time at the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Domestic Violence Project at the downtown Los Angeles courthouse. As one of dozens of attorneys around Los Angeles who volunteer for the Project, I devoted time each month to the Project to assist victims of domestic violence obtain temporary restraining orders against abusers. Volunteering at the Project was a wonderful opportunity to put my passion and skills to use and help those in need.
From 2015-2018, I have taught legal seminars at various Los Angeles County Law Libraries throughout the county.
PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS & MEMBERSHIPS
- A Better Divorce (The South Bay’s Exclusive Collaborative Divorce Practice Group)
- South Bay Bar Association
- Bruin Professionals
- Los Angeles Collaborative Family Law Association
- Collaborative Practice California
I enjoy traveling, discovering new restaurants in the Los Angeles food scene, hiking, and cooking.
Contact Nicole M. Stednitz at Torrance Family Law, APC, for an initial consultation today.
Nicole M. Stednitz at Torrance Family Law, APC serves the southern California and South Bay areas, including Los Angeles and Orange Counties, including the cities of Torrance, Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills Estates, Long Beach, Lomita, El Segundo, Inglewood, Compton, Hawthorne, Carson, Lawndale, Gardena, San Pedro, Westchester, Wilmington, Culver City, West LA, Santa Monica, Marina del Rey, Palms, Venice, Playa del Rey, Lakewood, Paramount, Bellflower, Norwalk, Huntington Park, Harbor City, Bell Gardens, Glendale, Pasadena, Alhambra, El Monte, Rosemead, Montebello, Pico Rivera, Downey, Cerritos, Whittier, Lynwood, Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Dana Point, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Palma, La Habra, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Orange, Placentia, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Stanton, Tustin, Villa Park, Westminster, and Yorba Linda.