Thomas D. Ferreira

Thomas Ferreira is a Divorce Lawyer and Mediator in Carlsbad California. Having gone through his own divorce in 2006, Thomas understands both the emotional and legal struggles involved in divorce and child custody cases. Thomas specializes in helping parties reduce conflict and contain costs during the divorce process.

Most commented posts

  1. DIVORCE: BEFORE YOU GET A LAWYER — 4 comments
  2. SPOUSAL SUPPORT (ALIMONY) IN CALIFORNIA–HOW IS IT CALCULATED? — 1 comment

Author's posts

Feb 27

Great Tip for Child Custody: Try the Opposite.

Thomas Ferreira here, child custody, divorce and support mediator and attorney.  This week’s tip is on child custody and how to get more parenting time in family court. If you’ve spent any time in family court you know that the court doesn’t always do what you think it will, especially in child custody cases.  Maybe …

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Jan 16

HOW TO WRITE DECLARATIONS FOR DIVORCE COURT HEARINGS: TIPS FROM AN EXPERT CHILD CUSTODY AND DIVORCE LAWYER

In today’s economy, many separated and divorcing people face being their own lawyer at a California child support, child custody or alimony (spousal support) hearing. Whether your case is set in Vista, San Diego, El Cajon or Riverside, You may wonder, “how do I get support or child custody if I don’t have a huge …

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Oct 17

CARLSBAD DIVORCE LAWYER AND MEDIATOR REVEALS A SECRET ABOUT YOUR CHILD CUSTODY CASE

Here’s a little secret about California’s child custody laws: Like other “family” laws, child custody and visitation laws are not designed to be fair to parents. Instead, the basic principle of child custody laws is known as the “best interest of the child’ standard. When making decisions on your child custody matter, your family law …

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Sep 26

Use Mediation To Divorce for One-Tenth the Cost and Actually be Happy With the Result

Thomas Ferreira here with the seventh post in my series on achieving financial security without a lawyer. Today I want to talk to you about the most powerful tool in your tool kit for saving money and getting great results in your divorce case: Mediation. If you have entered the strange alternate universe of divorce …

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Sep 11

Unbundled Services Give You Professional Legal Help Without the Huge Attorney Price Tag

 This is Thomas Ferreira, your divorce and child custody lawyer and mediator in Carlsbad, California. I just got back from back-to-school orientation for my boys. I took this task on even though my ex-wife has the kids this week, applying my core strategy of being nice and building trust. Now I’d like to move …

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Jul 24

Your Philosophy of Divorce and Why It Matters

This is Thomas Ferreira, your family law attorney and mediator in Carlsbad California. Today I want to tell you about a philosophy of going through a divorce, child custody, support or other family law matter. If you are already in the thick of family law litigation you will recognize some of the things I will …

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Mar 28

Carlsbad Divorce Lawyer and Mediator on the Secret to Feeling Confident in Divorce Court

 Thomas Ferreira here, your divorce lawyer and mediator in Carlsbad California. Everyone thinks that the secret to winning in divorce court or family court (if you are an unmarried parent) is to have the best lawyer. That’s what the lawyers want you to believe. I wish I had a dollar for every self-represented litigant …

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Mar 16

It’s True: You Really Can Divorce Inexpensively While Achieving Your Dreams And Here’s How…

This is Thomas Ferreira, your Carlsbad Divorce Lawyer and Mediator, with this week’s edition of the Carlsbad Divorce Lawyer and Divorce Mediator Blog.  I’m excited to announce that our blog has been named as number 35 at Feedspot’s Top 100 Blogs and Websites for To-Be Divorced and Divorcees.  I would encourage you to click on …

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Mar 08

EXPERT CARLSBAD DIVORCE LAWYER SHARES THREE STEPS TO FINANCIAL SECURITY IN THE EARLY STAGES OF DIVORCE.

Thomas Ferreira here, your expert divorce lawyer and mediator in Carlsbad California.  Last week I went over how to gain some calm and equanimity when you are facing divorce.  Now it’s time to take a good hard look at what it’s going to take.  This blog will help you formulate your escape plan, whether you …

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Feb 28

YOUR FIRST STEP TO FINANCIAL SECURITY AFTER DIVORCE—COMING TO TERMS WITH YOUR FEELINGS

Ten years ago last November my then wife (now my ex-wife) announced her desire for a divorce.  Today I am self-employed and happy, remarried, spending lots of time with the kids, and getting ready for a basketball game at their school (I am an assistant JV coach!).  I did it and you can, too. Last …

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Feb 24

CARLSBAD DIVORCE LAWYER AND MEDIATOR SPILLS THE BEANS—12 WAYS YOU ACHIEVE FINANCIAL SECURITY WITHOUT A LAWYER!

Thomas Ferreira here, your divorce attorney and mediator in Carlsbad, California.  It’s been nearly 10 years since my divorce was final.  I owned a home and had two young children of the marriage.  My current wife of about 6 years (also my office manager and financial analyst and general partner in crime) got her divorce …

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Feb 07

The Value of Intangibles in Divorce Negotiation

Some of you are in the throes of nasty divorce or child custody litigation, and some of you are headed there.  Here’s something that may seem counterintuitive at first, but I’ll make sure and explain what I mean.  Here goes: Sometimes it’s better to settle for less.  You may be thinking, wow, did a lawyer …

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Feb 02

CAN THE COURT REALLY HELP? SAGE WISDOM FROM YOUR CARLSBAD DIVORCE LAWYER AND MEDIATOR

I see it all the time—someone goes into family court for a solution to their problem, and finds that everything is worse after the hearing than it was before. If you need proof, go and watch any Request for Order calendar at your local California Superior Court’s family division. This is not to disparage our …

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Jan 18

TWO STEPS TO GET ANY SPOUSE INTO DIVORCE MEDIATION (NO MATTER HOW RELUCTANT THEY ARE)

If you are a regular reader of this blog you already know the value of divorce mediation, as compared to plunking down a big retainer for a divorce lawyer, trying to DIY it or burying your head in the sand. “But,” you say, “you’ll never get him in to mediation.”  Or, “there’s no way I …

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Jan 10

HOW TO OVERCOME DIVORCE BRAIN IN THREE EASY STEPS.

Thomas Ferreira here, your Carlsbad divorce attorney and mediator serving all of North San Diego County (and some of Riverside County too!). Let me wish you a happy new year and much prosperity and happiness in your post-divorce life. But wait a minute, you say.  I’ve been toughing out the holidays, trying to get through, …

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Oct 11

YOUR CARLSBAD DIVORCE LAWYER AND MEDIATOR SAYS: DON’T LET YOUR DIVORCE DEFINE WHO YOU ARE!

When clients come in for legal services, I often ask them where they are emotionally.  Some are calm and business-like.  Some are smiling and seem at peace with the marriage breakup. But most are overwhelmed, afraid, confused, furious or some combination of the above.  I’d like to ask you, where are you today?  If the …

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Sep 29

“WTF” AND OTHER RESPONSES TO OUR FACEBOOK ADVERTISING

This is Thomas Ferreira, your Carlsbad Divorce lawyer and mediator in Carlsbad, California.  Tammy (my wife and co-mediator) and I do a monthly workshop to provide an overview of the divorce process and also to help folks find the meaning in the pain they’re going through. We offer the workshop completely free, as a service …

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Sep 23

MEDIATION: THE BEST WAY TO AVOID TOTAL WAR IN YOUR DIVORCE

Thomas Ferreira here, your family law lawyer and mediator in Carlsbad, California. I know it will sound weird to many of you, but I just love reading history books.  It’s always good for divorced and divorcing people to have hobbies, and being an armchair historian is one of mine.  I find the human condition fascinating, …

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Sep 13

DIVORCE LAWYERS AND WIN-LOSE THINKING

We have the late Stephen Covey to thank for the wonderful concept of “win-win thinking.”  Win-win seeks to find solutions that serve as many interests as possible.  Win-lose thinking sees the world as populated by 2 types of people:  winners and losers.  According to a win-lose paradigm, there is a finite amount of value, stuff …

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Sep 07

SELECT YOUR DIVORCE LAWYER ACCORDING TO YOUR VALUES

If you or a loved one are facing divorce in California, deciding what help you need can be daunting.  There are so many lawyers out there.  Whom should you pick?  How about the one who promises to take the gloves off?  How about the pictures of gavels and cherry-paneled law libraries?  The one that charges …

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Aug 30

ACCEPT WHAT YOU CAN’T CHANGE, CHANGE WHAT YOU CAN: WISDOM FROM A CARLSBAD DIVORCE(D) LAWYER

The divorce process sucks no matter how you slice it.  You’re thrust into a system you likely didn’t want to be in, where decisions are made by others and often are difficult or impossible to control.  The one person you thought you could count on forever is now your adversary.  The attorneys see your case …

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Aug 18

WHAT TO DO WHEN HE/SHE WON’T PAY THE CHILD SUPPORT: A CARLSBAD DIVORCE LAWYER’S PERSPECTIVE

After a brief detour last week, here is my next installment in my series on child support.  Many of you out there owe some child support arrears.  Many of you have a court order for child support, but the other parent just won’t pay. There are some parents who spend more than half their waking …

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Aug 10

YOUR BEST WEAPON IN CHILD CUSTODY DISPUTES: KINDNESS.

Thomas Ferreira, your child custody and divorce lawyer in Carlsbad California here.  Last week I said I was going to go over some finer points about calculating child support.  I think I’m going to put that off until next week so I can share what could be the most powerful tool in your toolbox for …

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Jul 26

CALCULATING CHILD SUPPORT FROM THE SUPPORTED PARENT’S POINT OF VIEW

Last week I discussed child support arguments from the payer’s perspective.  But what about the struggling parent who is charged with caring for the child and providing financially?  What about daycare and medical care?  Am I entitled to help with ball shoes, or clothes, or fees for extracurricular activities? To reiterate what I told the …

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Jul 19

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IF YOU ARE A CHILD SUPPORT PAYOR: SAGE ADVICE FROM A CARLSBAD DIVORCE LAWYER

Last week I gave you some basics on child support, so that you can understand what you’re up against.  I talked about the origin of the current confiscatory child support rates in the politics of bashing the so-called dead-beat dads.  But here’s the irony:  the divorce system tends to split up families without requiring the …

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Jul 15

WHAT PARENTS MUST UNDERSTAND ABOUT CHILD SUPPORT: A CARLSBAD DIVORCE LAWYERS PERSPECTIVE

Thomas Ferreira, your child custody and divorce lawyer and mediator in Carlsbad, California, here.  Today I want to talk about child support. Have you ever been laying awake at night wondering how much you’re going to have to pay in child support?  Or perhaps you’ve done some child support calculations and you’re wondering how to …

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Jul 05

WHAT EVERY WOMAN WANTS, WHAT EVERY MAN WANTS—A NORTH SAN DIEGO COUNTY DIVORCE LAWYER’S PERSPECTIVE

Thomas Ferreira, North San Diego County divorce lawyer and mediator here.  As I said in my last post, this job has given me an insider’s view into the cause of marital breakdown.  And marital breakdown is a heartache whether or not there are are children involved. Have you ever had arguments with your husband or …

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Jun 29

Exposing the Real Cost of Divorce—A North San Diego Divorce Lawyer’s View

My mother once asked me, “Thomas, do you know why divorces are so expensive?”   I said, “no.”  “Because they’re worth it!” she replied. I was 4 years old when she got her first divorce and 20 when she got her second.  I can say with confidence that mom’s divorces have not been worth it, at …

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Jun 22

CHILD CUSTODY SECRET: KNOWING WHEN THE COURT CAN HELP YOU, AND WHEN IT CAN’T.

Thomas Ferreira here, divorce and child custody mediator in North San Diego County.  I want to let you in on a strategic secret that can save you thousands in lawyer costs and untold grief. I have a question for those of you who are divorcing, have a paternity case pending or a support case pending: …

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Jun 16

DIVORCE NEGOTIATION SECRET NUMBER 5: The Power of Trust

As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him.—Mahatma Gandhi Today’s is a low trust world.  That’s why there’s so much bullying, fighting and litigation.  Don’t you wish you could live in a better world?  You can.  I’ve seen it happen in divorce cases over and over …

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Jun 07

DIVORCE NEGOTIATION SECRET NUMBER FOUR: Avoiding the “A” Bomb

Thomas Ferreira here for this installment of my five secrets to successful divorce negotiation.  Today I want to talk about dropping the “A” bomb.  The “A” stands for “attribution.”  Dropping an attribution can produce a 5 megaton explosion guaranteed to blow up your negotiations. How many of you have been trying to influence someone, and …

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Jun 01

DIVORCE NEGOTIATION SECRET NUMBER THREE: The Curiosity Stance

May 25

FIVE SECRETS OF SUCCESSFUL NEGOTIATION. Secret 2: The Magic of Converting Positions to Interests

May 17

FIVE SECRETS OF SUCCESSFUL NEGOTIATION. Secret 1: Know What You Want in Advance

FIVE SECRETS OF SUCCESSFUL NEGOTIATION. Secret 1: Know What You Want in Advance Thomas Ferreira here, divorce and child custody lawyer and mediator in North San Diego County.  Today I want to share the first of five secrets to negotiating agreements with your ex. How many of you out there can’t seem to get your …

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May 10

HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT ATTORNEY (IT’S NOT WHAT YOU THINK).

How to Find the Right Attorney – It’s Not What You Think The usual attorney sales pitch starts and ends with the attorney’s credentials, the attorney’s education and attorney’s accomplishments.  It proceeds through a proven sales formula involving fear of loss, a fear that is already front and center for most of you. But if …

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May 03

SECRET NUMBER FOUR FOR AN AMICABLE DIVORCE: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.

SECRET NUMBER FOUR FOR AN AMICABLE DIVORCE: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff Carlsbad Divorce Lawyer and Divorce Mediator discusses How to Have an Amicable Divorce – Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff And it’s all small stuff, right?  Not necessarily.  In my own situation, with sons ages 11 and 12, my ex and I are currently …

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Apr 27

SECRET NUMBER THREE FOR AN AMICABLE DIVORCE: OPT OUT OF THE ADVERSARY SYSTEM

Carlsbad Divorce Lawyer and Divorce Mediator discusses How to Have an Amicable Divorce – Opt Out of the Adversary System Here’s a declaration against interest if ever there was one:  I am an attorney with a family law and child custody litigation practice, and I am saying that, whenever possible, opt out of the traditional …

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Apr 19

SECRET NUMBER TWO FOR AN AMICABLE DIVORCE: HAVE THE CONVERSATION

Apr 12

FIRST OF FOUR SECRETS TO AN AMICABLE DIVORCE: Don’t Be a Hater.

Carlsbad Divorce Lawyer and Divorce Mediator discusses How to Have an Amicable Divorce – Don’t be a Hater Have you ever wished that your divorce case could be amicable?  That you could cut through the BS and the fighting and just get your ex to accept reason? The difficulties are structural, that is, built into …

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Apr 05

THE MOST IMPORTANT INGREDIENT IN A LOW-COST AMICABLE DIVORCE: BUILDING TRUST.

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Mar 29

THE BEST OF ALL DIVORCE/CHILD CUSTODY WORLDS: SELF-REPRESENTATION WITH MEDIATION.

Carlsbad Divorce Lawyer and Divorce Mediator discusses How to Represent Yourself During Divorce and Using Mediation This is Thomas Ferreira, your family law mediator and lawyer in Carlsbad California.  Today I want to talk about how to involve a family law expert in your case while staying self-represented. Are you facing child custody, divorce or …

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Mar 22

THRIVING DURING AND AFTER DIVORCE: KNOW WHAT YOU OWN AND OWE

Carlsbad Divorce Lawyer and Divorce Mediator on How to Divide Community Property Here’s a question:  Do you know you and your spouse’s net worth?  How close are you to retirement?  Do you have a dream job or career that you’d love to transition into, perhaps something that your spouse has been opposed to?  Do you …

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Mar 15

THRIVING DURING AND AFTER DIVORCE: PLANNING FOR SUPPORT CALCULATIONS

I’m Thomas Ferreira, your divorce and child custody mediator and lawyer in Carlsbad, serving North San Diego County and Riverside County with family legal services. Have you ever been laying awake at night wondering just how much support you’re going to have to pay?  Or maybe you’re cause of insomnia is how much support you …

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Mar 08

THE HIGH COST OF LOW TRUST

There was a time in America when business was done on a handshake.  Businesspeople negotiated million-dollar deals and expected that the other person’s word was their bond. A handshake is a low cost, low effort way to reach agreement, but it requires something usually lacking in divorce cases:  high trust.  The iron law of trust …

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Mar 03

WHAT IS YOUR “BIG, GIGANTIC WHY?”

Thomas Ferreira, here, your Carlsbad divorce mediator and attorney.  I’ve been thinking back on my own journey as a divorced parent.  Have you ever felt like your world was coming to an end because, either your spouse has left you and taken the children with him/her?  Or, have you decided that you can’t tolerate the …

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Feb 17

WHY IS DIVORCE LITIGATION SO DOGGONE PAINFUL? THREE STEPS TO MAKING IT BETTER.

Hi, Thomas Ferreira here again, writing to you about surviving and prospering after divorce or other family law litigation.  In my office, we’ve had the usual spate of crises this week, and I am reflecting today about why it’s necessary in so many divorce and child custody cases to literally talk people down from the …

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Aug 28

ON THAT MIDNIGHT TRAIN TO GEORGIA—WITH YOUR CHILDREN.

Child custody move-away cases are nerve-jangling, even for us child custody lawyers and mediators who deal with them day in and day out.  I have been on a 2-week roll involving several “move-away” cases.  These are cases where a custodial parent has decided to move with the child to another county, or even another state.  …

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Aug 24

DON’T DO IT, MAN

As a divorce lawyer and mediator, you might expect me to be salivating over the hacking of Ashley Madison and the publication of its subscription list.  My friends and colleagues joke that we divorce lawyers and mediators should get ready for a wave of new business from those who will soon be outed to their …

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Jun 10

TV VERSUS REALITY AND HOW TO SUCCEED IN FAMILY COURT

When I’m representing clients in family court, I want them to succeed.  I’m looking for a “good day in court,” a result that solves the problems arising in a divorcing family, a result that leaves our client feeling that the court heard and considered their side of the issues. Often our clients don’t realize how …

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May 28

REFRAMING SPOUSAL SUPPORT NEGOTIATIONS: THE LAW AND THE GOOSE THAT LAID THE GOLDEN EGG

Whenever I do mediation, I’m presented with adverse parties, many of whom are angry and upset that they are not at fault for the divorce, and yet are facing the imposition of tremendous financial burdens. In mediation, I assist divorcing spouses to reframe the discussions away from what is “owed,” and toward what each party …

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