Family Law Mediation LA

Family Law Mediation LA


Peter Hermes

Peter Hermes, Esq., is pleased to announce the expansion of his legal practice and the introduction of his independent mediation practice

Mr. Hermes is a Los Angeles native who grew up in a busy, hard-working, close Italian family. He brings with him the compassion and down-to-earth practical approach grounded in the desire for successful settlement outcomes that serve and advance family narratives.

Mr. Hermes started his career in Family Law with Stephen A. Kolodny, Esq., then created and managed the Family Law Department at Stockwell Harris Widom and Woolverton. As partner and senior litigator at Kolodny and Anteau in Beverly Hills, he handled high-profile, complex, family law matters dealing with prominent entertainment, business and sports personalities, among other clientele. In 2000, he formed Hermes & Glavin, LLP and then pursued a private Family Law practice, Hermes Law Group.

Mr. Hermes is well-respected by colleagues and judges as well as court personnel in a career spanning over 48 years. It is with great joy that he expands his legal practice and inaugurates his new role as a Mediator in service to attorneys and their clients and the Southern California legal community to provide easier, more affordable and effective dispute resolution outcomes, among other jurisdictions.

Mission Statement

Family Law continues to evolve into a highly complex legal field that should be handled by experienced family law lawyers who stay informed of the latest changes to case and statutory law and the new and innovative processes impacting family law.

In my role as Mediator, my mission, focus and fundamental philosophy as a NEUTRAL, is to encourage and empower represented clients with the assistance of their lawyers, to make a good-faith attempt to settle difficult and complex marital issues, to allow clients to have a voice in the mediation process, to provide the clients with the tools, information and options available to them in reaching an informed and reasonable decision in the mediation process that will be life-changing without regret or second thoughts (side-stepping the pain, anguish, uncertainty and cost of full-blown litigation) and to help navigate and orchestrate settlement of complex, emotional, financial and familial issues and disputes which will allow clients to take control of their lives and achieve real-world results and goals.

Having witnessed the emotional and financial toll exerted on families from protracted litigations, I am motivated to help serve attorneys and their clients to avoid the damaging and costly litigation process.

Peter Hermes Writing

Family Law Mediation Areas of Expertise

  • Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce)
  • Legal Separation
  • Paternity Cases
  • Child Support and Spousal Support
  • Child Support and Spousal Support Modification
  • Child Custody and Visitation (Parenting Plan)
  • Child Custody and Visitation Modification
  • Move-Away Cases
  • Valuation and division of marital and non-marital property
  • Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
  • Marvin actions
  • Post-judgment modification proceedings
  • Post-judgment enforcement proceedings
  • Dissolution of Domestic Partnership and Same Sex Marriage
  • Domestic Violence Restraining Order actions
  • Prosecution and Defense of Contempt proceedings
  • Mr. Hermes is able to carefully explain and clarify all aspects of family law that may not be initially clear and also the range of results that can possibly be expected and help manage client expectations in the divorce/mediation process.
  • Since family law encompasses the most personal and intimate aspects of relationships, it is critically important for attorneys and clients to select a mediator who can provide NEUTRALITY, guidance, compassion and communication and who has a personality and demeanor to establish the necessary trust and confidence to guide parties through this state of their relationship and solve problems that are a barrier to the resolution process.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a process by which participates, together with the assistance of an impartial, NEUTRAL Mediator trained professional, who systematically isolates dispute issues in order to develop settlement options, consider alternatives and reach a consensual settlement that will accommodate their needs; a process which emphasizes the participants’ own responsibilities for making decisions that affect their lives; a process that facilitates communication and negotiation and promotes voluntary decision-making by the parties to the dispute; a process that provides the opportunity for parties to define and clarify issues, understand different perspectives; identify interests, explore and assess possible solutions, and reach mutually satisfactory and voluntary agreements.

“Neutral” What does this mean?

A “NEUTRAL” is a third party Professional Mediator that is engaged by the lawyers and their clients that does not represent any of the parties/participants in the Mediation process. A NEUTRAL is an impartial facilitator for settlement providing guidance and structure for safe interaction and communication in the mediation process, to teach participants how to listen respectfully, how to generate and understand settlement options, how to make lasting decisions, the point process of conflict and interaction and behavior during the mediation process, a peace maker, a referee at times, a person that not only thinks outside the box, they are willing to create wholly new boxes to promote settlement options, a reality tester, a conflict manager, an empathic, active listener, a promoter of optimistic and positive vision for the outcome in the resolution process.

Neutrality is a feeling of being heard — without a feeling of being judged.

Peter Hermes

Experience Matters

Mr. Hermes has handled thousands of divorce cases and related family law matters and can step in to provide a seamless mediation experience and support, as a NEUTRAL, to all involved in the mediation process.

Mr. Hermes is known for his fair, fearless, creative, skilled and grounded common sense approach. He brings a practical, real-world view to solving and expediting sensitive and fair solutions, and helping clients see the positive and realistic big picture and move ahead with their lives.

Mr. Hermes shares a vast knowledge of all areas of Family Law and the judicial system and is well-known to Los Angeles Courts and has an impeccable litigation reputation with judges, clients and his colleagues in the Family Law arena.

Why Mediate With Peter Hermes Esq.

Mr. Hermes is well-known to Los Angeles Courts and he has an impeccable reputation with judges, colleagues and clients.

  • His mediation fees are affordable and fair compared to other third-party mediation out-source services and agencies.
  • 48+ years of litigation experience and legal expertise covering all areas of matrimonial practice in California.
  • Adept at navigating different legal matters with high profile individuals and families dealing with complex issues and emotionally-charged situations. Skilled and patient — educating clients regarding the family court system, the law, the value of mediation and settlement and managing litigants’ emotions and case outcome expectations.

Expert at empowering and instilling confidence for mediation participants to engage in the necessary communication process throughout mediation, understand the issues and settlement options, weight the risks vs. benefits vs. costs of settlement vs. litigation.

In addition to his substantive expertise and keen analytic skills, Mr. Hermes establishes the genuine rapport AND effective discourse and communication that helps parties move forward to satisfying, successful settlement outcomes — even in contentious situations.

Achievements, Certifications & Expertise

Mr. Hermes has been a long-standing mediator for the Los Angeles County Superior Court Family Law Mediation Panel and he has successfully conducted numerous private mediations relating to Family Law cases.

In 2001, Mr. Hermes was appointed to the prestigious position and served a term as a member of the State of California, Fair Employment & Housing Commission Advisory Committee.

In March, 2017, Mr. Hermes participated in the First Annual Sorrell Trope Trial Institute Program as a Lawyer panelist-presenter. This Program, consisting of 12 prominent family law attorneys in Los Angeles, offered Continuing Legal Education to lawyers and individuals using mock trial demonstrations and input from the bench and experienced trial counsel, providing improved trial advocacy skills.

While a partner at Kolodny & Anteau, he was co-lead counsel in the trial, post-trial and appellate matters (arguing the case at the California Court of Appeals level) involving the landmark California Supreme Court case of In Re: Marriage of Pendleton-Fireman, (2000) 24 Ca1.4th 39, involving the enforceability of spousal support waivers in pre-marital agreements.

Mr. Hermes obtained certification as a Family Law Specialist by the State Bar of California in the first certification program offered by the California State Bar in 1980 (non renouvele).

Mr. Hermes continues to educate the public and represent clients pertaining to all aspects of family law legal matters including, but not limited to, divorce, legal separation, child custody, move-away cases, spousal tort actions, civil “Marvin” actions, domestic violence actions, paternity and premarital and “Marvin” agreements.

Mr. Hermes has successfully completed the Mosten-Guthrie Mediation Advanced Mediation Program and continues to educate himself in all areas of mediation techniques and Practice — including offering Zoom mediation for the convenience of all participants. Mr. Hermes is comfortable dealing with complex and challenging move-away cases, domestic violence actions and spousal tort actions (usually impacting women and children — violence in marital and live-in partner situations has reached epidemic levels in California), areas of the law that pose and address unique legal challenges, in the litigation, mediation and educational process.

Mr. Hermes has appeared as a guest legal analyst/speaker for local and national television news programs (NBC, ABC, CBS and KTLA). He is passionate about accurate and informed education of family law.

Mr. Hermes actively participated in the start-up and organization of an annual charity golf tournament (the “Hula Classic”) to benefit local non-profits. Beneficiaries included “Break the Cycle” which is an organization whose goal is to prevent violence in teens, the “1736 Family Crisis Center” and “Haven House” (the first home and shelter for battered women and children in the United States), all located in Los Angeles County.

Education and Licensing

  • B.S. Economics, Loyola University Los Angeles, CA (1970)
  • J.D. Southwestern University School of Law, Los Angeles, CA (1973) with Moot Court Honors
  • Licensed with the Supreme Court of the United States
  • Licensed with the State Bar of California
  • Member of the California State Bar Association
  • Member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association


For California Family Law

The legal term for divorce in California is “dissolution of marriage.”

California is a “no-fault” divorce state, meaning that you do not need to prove fault or wrongdoing to obtain a divorce. The most common ground for dissolution is “irreconcilable differences.”

Yes, there is a residency requirement to file for dissolution of marriage (divorce) in California. Either you or your spouse must meet the following residency criteria:

  1. You or your spouse must have been a resident of California for at least six (6) months before filing for divorce.
  2. You or your spouse must have been a resident of the county where you plan to file the divorce petition for at least three (3) months before filing.

It’s important to note that meeting the residency requirement is necessary to establish the jurisdiction of the California courts over the parties and the divorce case. If you or your spouse do not meet the residency requirement, you need to wait until the requirement is satisfied before filing for divorce.

No, to file for divorce in California, either spouse must meet the residency requirements, which include living in the state for at least six (6) months and in the county where the divorce petition is filed for at least three (3) months.

Yes, it is possible to obtain a divorce without going to court in California if both parties reach an agreement on all issues, such as property division, child custody, and support. The terms of the agreement must then be included in a Judgment of Dissolution, and signed by both parties (and counsel) and filed and entered by the Court (along with other supporting Court forms). Be advised that the Court will not enter the Judgment until both parties exchange their Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure (“PDD”) and file the Declaration Regarding Service of Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure and submit their Waiver of Final Declaration of Disclosure, if agreed. Always consult your lawyer regarding the Judgment process or the Court facilitator if you are in pro per.


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A ‘MIAM’ is a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting. These meetings are confidential and usually take place separately. The purpose of a MIAM is for the Mediator to:

  • Explain the process as an option
  • Explain their role as an impartial professional (a Family Mediator is often a qualified solicitor with experience in family law)
  • Take details regarding the party’s situation to identify what the issues are
  • Assess if their situation is suitable for mediation
  • Identify if there are any underlying issues the mediator needs to be aware of which may affect how any joint meetings are conducted if mediation was to proceed

Court proceedings are often the last resort, but after your MIAM, if you choose not to mediation or mediation is not considered appropriate you will be issued with the ‘MIAM certificate’ to enable you to issue an application to Court if you wish.

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