Divorce Helpline was founded in 1989 by California attorneys who envisioned an alternative to the traditional way of getting a divorce in California, and now in Texas, —a way to provide top quality legal access to couples who were getting or contemplating a divorce, but did not want to get involved in a damaging divorce process with attorneys fighting in court. This new approach pioneered by Divorce Helpline offers improvements to the outdated adversarial system, where husband and wife are pitted against each other in court, retaining expensive attorneys on each side.
Our founders. The idea for Divorce Helpline started with Ed Sherman, founder of Nolo Press and author of books and software programs that help people going through divorce. In 1990, he opened Divorce Helpline in California with attorneys Anne Lober and Peggy Williams, and together they redesigned the way lawyers work to deliver a service that is economical and effective for people doing their own divorces.
Attorney since 1997
Attorney / Mediator / Private Judge
- State Bar of California
- State Bar of Texas
- Real Estate Broker/Realtor©, California Department of Real Estate
- National Association of Realtors
- California Association of Realtors
- Southland Regional Association of Realtors
“I know the law and the process. You know your situation. Together, we can explore your alternatives and decide on the best approach for you that will help you through this difficult time with the least amount of stress and cost. I have done exactly this for the past 15 years and I can help you as well.”
Hamid Naraghi is the president of Divorce Helpline as well as partner in a family law litigation firm with offices in Northern and Southern California. Over the past 14 years, Hamid has gained extensive experience in family law litigation, mediation & collaborative divorce as well as arbitration. His combined background as a litigating attorney, mediator, arbitrator, licensed real estate broker, former police officer and licensed attorney in California and Texas provide him with a unique perspective that enables him to analyze and resolve complicated matters appropriately depending on the specific circumstances of the case.
William E. Woodcock
Attorney since 1998
Attorney / Mediator / Private Judge
“Divorce Helpline provides legal services superior to what people receive from the court system, with a process that promotes peace and respect between the parties.”
Vice-president of Divorce Helpline as well as a partner in a family law litigation firm with offices in Northern and Southern California. Both an experienced mediator and an experienced family law litigator, Bill has argued before California Appellate Courts on international child custody disputes and Hague abduction cases, is certified as a pro tem Judge, and acts as an Arbitrator in mandatory fee arbitrations between attorneys and clients. For many years, Bill has worked closely with psychological professionals to address the developmental and psychological needs of children during the divorce process, an area of particular concern for him.
Attorney since 1982
Mediator and Arbitrator
- State Bar of California
- Nevada county collaborative group
- Conflict resolution center
- Association for conflict resolution
- Northern California collaborative group
- East bay collaborative professionals
- Mountain elementary school district board member
- Northern California child abuse treatment board member
- Mid County Children’s Center Board Member
- Various county bar associations
- Alternative dispute resolution committee
“I enjoy it when the light bulb goes on for my client when I explain property law. This knowledge creates solutions and brings peace of mind.”
A family law lawyer since 1982, left the world of expensive, contested divorces in 1990 — and joined the Divorce Helpline team, bringing with her the knowledge and experience gained when divorcing musicians, authors, and corporate executives. Her subsequent years at Legal Aid assisting the poor brought compassion to her family law work. For two decades Charma has specialized in pension distributions (drafting QDROs since 1987), high conflict and high net worth families. She strongly believes in the spouses’ rights to make family decisions. If your family’s divorce is complicated, emotionally or financially, call Charma for help.
Attorney since 2001
“It is satisfying to work for a firm whose goal is helping divorcing parties reach a solution they both can feel good about.”
Has been with Divorce Helpline since 1999 and is a trained and highly experienced collaborative law attorney and mediator. Her primary focus is to offer a multitude of options for people and to assist the client on reaching the best solution for them. She is an expert in pension distribution (QDROs) and the special challenges facing families of addiction. She is knowledgeable in the ever-changing area of Domestic Partnerships.
William (Bill) Helm
Attorney since 1984
Mediator & Drafting Attorney
“After 27 years of practicing family law, the choice remains strikingly clear: You can spend a small fortune to litigate your divorce and hand everything to a judge to make all the decisions regarding your property, children and support, or you can work with Divorce Helpline’s highly-skilled mediation attorneys to come to an equitable agreement out of court. If you choose mediation, you will greatly reduce the economic and emotional cost of airing your differences in a public forum”.
Bill Helm has been an attorney since 1984, practicing family law both as an adversarial attorney as well as a mediator. He is a State Bar certified specialist in family law and was a member of the Divorce Helpline attorney staff from 1990 through 2001 before again returning to private practice. In 2011 he rejoined Divorce Helpline and also works in private practice with partners Hamid Naraghi and Bill Woodcock. Bill’s work at Divorce Helpline involves both mediation and the drafting of the marital settlement agreements after the parties have come to full settlement. Knowing that the best way to proceed is through mutual cooperation, Bill, like all Divorce Helpline attorneys, educates families on legal matters while simultaneously steering them toward settlement. He firmly believes that his blend of courtroom and mediation experience offers divorcing couples more than mediation alone.
Mary Louise Pollock
Family Law Attorney Mediator
My work experience over the past 20 years has focused exclusively on Family Law. As a paralegal, mediator and now as an attorney, I have developed a genuine passion for acting as an advocate for people working through various adverse circumstances in their lives. I am upbeat, positive and bring compassion and empathy to clients that are experiencing the life transition of a divorce or other family law issue. Perhaps one of my greatest skills is educating clients by explaining to them how the law applies to the facts of their individual case and helping them understand their options. I believe knowledge is power and I encourage all clients to pursue a complete understanding of the issues in their case and the options available to them.
We are proud of the knowledge and expertise of our staff attorneys who will speak honestly with you about your choices. Our other staff will always treat you with respect and kindness.
Call us to learn about your rights, responsibilities options and our unique way of keeping your case out of court. Let us help you through this tough transition process – we can help take some of the burden of your divorce process away and assist you in discovering the best solution for your family. 1-800-359-7004.