Welcome to Families First Mediation. You have found the right place. We established a winning formula for you to successfully mediate your divorce with our Expert Divorce Mediation Attorneys, resulting in long-lasting settlements and happy clients. You can be done sooner than you think!

Experienced Mediation in the Following Areas:

We Have Experience Working with:

  • Therapists
  • Custody Evaluators
  • Attorneys
  • Settlement Officers
  • Child Protective Services
  • Child Abuse and Rape Crisis Centers
  • Forensic Accountants

Our Team:

Dina Haddad, Esq.
Principal Attorney-Mediator

Dina is the founder and principal of Families First Mediation. Her mission is make A-class services available to clients at all socio-economic levels by providing her commitment to excellence at a fraction of the cost of traditional divorce options.

 

She has practiced family law in both Southern and Northern California, at some of the most prestigious law firms. She completed post-doctorate law degree in mediation, a Masters in Law in Alternate Dispute Resolution from the premier Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. For more than 9 consecutive years, Straus was ranked the number one dispute resolution program by U.S. News and World Report. Straus received this honor again for 2018. Very few mediators, particularly in family law, have this unique training.

 

Dina received her J.D. from University of California, Hastings College of the Law, a top tier law school, and her undergraduate degree from the highly acclaimed University of California, Los Angeles.

 

Dina sits as a Judge Pro Tempore for the Personal Property Arbitration in Santa Clara County and is a family law mediator for the Agency for Dispute Resolution (ADR), a premier provider of private dispute resolution services with a selective panel of neutrals. She frequently publishes about divorce and mediation. You can find those articles at Families First Mediation.

 

Dina is a proud mother of twin boys and happily married to her husband, who is a marriage and family therapist.

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Samira Amato, Esq.
Attorney-Mediator

Samira Amato is a highly experienced and excellent family law attorney mediator. Samira has many years of experience in the courtroom and is trained in the highest standards of trial advocacy. She brings that tradition of excellence to the private mediation. Samira entered the legal practice to provide solutions in difficult situations.

After graduating with honors from University of California at Berkeley, Samira joined the Peace Corps to contribute to the global community. Upon her return, she earned her Juris Doctorate from Santa Clara University School of Law with a specialization in Intellectual Property. She subsequently clerked for Judge Katherine Lucero of the Superior Court of California County of Santa Clara. Samira Amato has been practicing family law since 2003.

Deborah Yamashiro
Case Manager and Paralegal

Deborah Yamashiro joined Families First Mediation in September 2016. She has over 14 years of family law experience working as a paralegal and has worked for several well-known law firms in the Bay Area. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Paralegal Studies as well as an AA Paralegal degree from De Anza College.

 

Prior to moving to the United States, Deborah worked in London’s West End for several law firms before opening a Montessori pre-school nursery in her local village. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, three children, and grandchildren. Her hobbies include dancing, working out at the gym, hiking, reading and traveling.

Katie Pearson
Case Manager & Legal Assistant

Katherine joined Families First Mediation in 2023. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Science and a Political Science minor. She also has a Paralegal Certificate from DeAnza College. Katherine enjoys being part of Families First Mediation team and providing services that make a difference in your lives.

Katherine enjoys reading, playing tennis with a local tennis team, and working out. Katherine and her husband have five children. They keep active as a family hiking, doing outdoor activities and vacationing together.

Katherine continues to be very involved in her children’s schools and the local school district, both as a volunteer and substitute teacher.

Families First Mediation Reviews

Discover why Families First Mediation is people’s first choice.

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OF COMBINED EXPERIENCE FIGHTING FOR CALIFORNIA FAMILIES

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CONSISTENTLY RECEIVED FROM SATISFIED CLIENTS

At Families First Mediation ,we know that divorce and family law matters are overwhelming.

Mediation is the best way to take control of your divorce and get the best results.

Divorce is a complex and emotionally charged process, but choosing the right method can significantly impact the outcome. At Families First Mediation, we know that who you choose to mediate for you matters. Your family matters.

About Us

Meet your Future Legal Team

Attorney and Mediator Dina Haddad founder of Families First Mediation - Superlawyer 2024

Dina Haddad, Esq.

Principal & Founder Attorney-Mediator

Dina Haddad is a family law mediator. Ms. Haddad has been practicing meditation for more than 20 years in California. She is a founder and principal of Families First Mediation and DIY, The Complete Divorce.

Dina established Families First Mediation to ensure quality and affordable legal services to those who are grappling with the problems of a bad marriage or partnership.

In 2024, Ms. Haddad has been nominated as “Super Lawyer,” an exceptional title given to the top 5% of attorneys in the United States each year.

Ms. Haddad offers affordable legal services for couples who need mediation for their family law matters. She maintains a “Very Good” rating on Avvo.

Ms. Haddad uses mediation and collaborative law to resolve issues between individuals and families. Early on in her family law career, she saw how difficult it was, even for amicable couples, to finish their divorce process in an efficient and timely manner.

Her goal at Families First Mediation is to give couples a clear path to completing their divorce. Her firm will guide clients through the complicated divorce process with a transparent and structured process in which couples come out with a long-lasting, quality agreement.

Dina received her LL.M. in Alternate Dispute Resolution from Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine School of Law.

The Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution has been ranked number 1 in the U.S. News & World Report 2023 Best Dispute Resolution Programs rankings.

This marks the 14th time in the past 18 years that the Straus Institute has been recognized as the top program in the country. Hence, Dina is one of the few mediators who have this unique training.

Dina received her J.D. from University of California, Hastings College of the Law, a top-tier law school, and her undergraduate degree from the highly acclaimed University of California, Los Angeles.

With her experience in mediation, Ms. Haddad often sits as a judge pro tempore for the personal property arbitration at Santa Clara County. She is also a family law mediator with a selective panel of neutrals at the Agency for Dispute Resolution.

Dina frequently publishes about divorce and mediation. You can find those articles at Families First Mediation.

She is a proud mother of twin boys and happily married to her husband, who is a licensed marriage and family therapist.

Dina Haddad, a divorce mediator, facilitates communication and negotiation between couples to reach fair agreements, reducing the stress, time, and cost compared to traditional divorce litigation

Dina Haddad combines her legal expertise with compassionate mediation techniques, offering a streamlined and affordable process through her program, TheCompleteDivorce, to help couples avoid unnecessary legal fees and court rejections.

Divorce Mediator Samira Amato Families First Mediation in San Jose, Ca

Samira Amato, Esq.

Attorney-Mediator

Samira Amato is a highly experienced family law mediator and trial attorney. Ms. Amato has been practicing family law since 2003 by bringing a tradition of excellence to private mediation.

Ms. Amato embarked on a career in law to offer solutions in challenging situations. She received her undergraduate degree with honors from the University of California at Berkeley.

After graduation, Samira also joined the Peace Corps to contribute to the global community. Upon her return, she earned her Juris Doctorate from Santa Clara University School of Law with a specialization in Intellectual Property.

She subsequently clerked for Judge Katherine Lucero of the Superior Court of California County of Santa Clara. Ms. Amato can be reached at Families First Mediation

Samira Amato is a seasoned family law mediator and trial attorney with experience dating back to 2003. She is known for her excellence in private mediation and has a rich history of providing solutions in challenging situations.

 

Samira Amato can be reached at Families First Mediation for her expert mediation services.

Deborah Yamashiro

Case Manager and Paralegal

Deborah Yamashiro joined Families First Mediation in September 2016. She has over 14 years of family law experience working as a paralegal and has worked for several well-known law firms in the Bay Area. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Paralegal Studies as well as an AA Paralegal degree from De Anza College.

Prior to moving to the United States, Deborah worked in London’s West End for several law firms before opening a Montessori pre-school nursery in her local village. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, three children, and grandchildren. Her hobbies include dancing, working out at the gym, hiking, reading and traveling.

Katie Pearson

Case Manager &Paralegal

Katherine joined Families First Mediation in 2023. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Science and a Political Science minor. She also has a Paralegal Certificate from DeAnza College. Katherine enjoys being part of Families First Mediation team and providing services that make a difference in your lives.

Katherine enjoys reading, playing tennis with a local tennis team, and working out. Katherine and her husband have five children. They keep active as a family hiking, doing outdoor activities and vacationing together.

Katherine continues to be very involved in her children’s schools and the local school district, both as a volunteer and substitute teacher.

Testimonials

See What We've Been Able To Do For Others Like You

Lynn
Lynn
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"Dina Haddad and Families First made a difficult process so much easier for us. For families with complex situations, Dina is the perfect choice. She has so many potential solutions at her fingertips and offers good advice while working through the choices. We were grateful to have found her and Families First."
Steven
Steven
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"Very good experience. Dina knows how to get everyone on the same page while keeping both parties on friendly terms. This was a very amicable resolution thanks to Dina. I would highly recommend anyone going through this versus hiring separate attorneys and ending on not so friendly terms. We are still friends and care for the welfare of each other, well worth it!"
John
John
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"We like the way Dina Haddad and Families First Mediation made the well-being of our kids their top priority. They guided us through what could have been a messy process, and looked out for the best interests of both of us. Dina and Deborah were easy to work with, and made our divorce much less stressful than it would have been if we had gone through opposing lawyers."
Veronica
Veronica
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"As much as you can love going through mediation and divorce, Dina H. is the one to help you come to a positive outcome. She has good ideas and alternatives that you may not think about with a traditional divorce. She is always fair and good at maintaining rules and boundaries. I would recommend her to anyone that has to go through this grueling process."
Andres
Andres
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“Divorce is never something you plan for and the complexity and legality of it is something most couples don’t know, understand or inquire about... Samira and Deborah are organized, professional, empathetic, knowledgeable, and efficient. They made the process simple and clear, ensuring both parties were satisfied. They answered and addressed all questions and concerns always being neutral. I’ll highly recommend it if you want to avoid the courtroom and save some headaches! Thank you Samira and Deborah!!!!”
Araceli
Araceli
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"I highly recommend Dina and Deborah at Families First Mediation. Dina is awesome she helped guide us from beginning to the end through this very hard and emotional process of Divorce. I loved her compassion towards our needs and looked out for the best interest of our family. This is one of the hardest and complicated things to go through and she made sure we understood everything answering all of our questions. We really appreciate all your help and how smoothly the whole process went Thank-you."
Crystal
Crystal
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"The divorce process went smoothly with Samira and Deborah's help. I appreciated their feedback and advice during mediation. Samira was very knowledgeable and empathetic to both sides during the process. I also appreciated her honesty and input as we went through each section of our divorce. In addition, our divorce was finalized in less than 6 months, which was very impressive. If you are looking for a more affordable option, mediation is highly recommended...Thank you Samira and Deborah for your help and I encourage you to contact Families First Mediation if you are needing assistance with your divorce process. You will not regret it!"
David
David
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"Dina is very knowledgeable both in terms of the divorce laws and accounting. She is a great listener and amazing in finding a solution that works for both parties. She has a very creative mind to resolve conflicts be it about child custody, scheduling or asset division."
Dolores
Dolores
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"Families First really helped make a difficult process seamless and helped us keep our friendship intact. Thanks to Dina and Deborah, we were able to look at everything honestly, openly, and together in a safe and friendly manner. They are wonderful!"
Matt
Matt
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"Dina and Deborah helped us maintain our MSA, even years later, with the same kindness and professionalism as the first time we all worked together. We've both come to trust FFM after both of us would independently check-in with our lawyers. Dina and FFM never failed to give us both fair and reasonable advice and direction."
Sharon
Sharon
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"I highly recommend Families First Mediation if you and your spouse are thinking about going separate ways. Dina and team are friendly, easy to work with, thorough, and responsive. They made a difficult transition seamless, which is not easy to do given the reason people go to see them in the first place. Dina always made sure to be fair to both of us in a gentle, yet poignant way. I wouldn't hesitate to use her services again should the need arise, and would highly recommend her to anyone!"
Carla
Carla
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"While this process can be full of emotion and never easy, Dina showed excellent professionalism and compassion during the entire process. We selected her after speaking with several mediators. She was thoughtful, thorough, and patient in explaining what to expect. Throughout the process, she explained the various pros and cons of each decision, made sure we understood the various details of each point, and was creative in finding alternative ways to reach solutions when necessary. Her suggestions were fair and she never pressured us into a decision until we were ready. I've already recommended her services to several other people and will continue to do so."
Jonathan
Jonathan
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"For anyone out there navigating the legal complexities and emotional fallout of a divorce with children involved, I’d recommend Dina and Families First Mediation without a shred of reservation. She was able to skillfully work with us in acknowledging the emotional ramifications with compassion, while always maintaining a fair-minded and focused approach throughout that kept the process moving. In the end, we arrived at an agreement that was in the best interest of all parties involved, without needing to set foot in a court room or throw thousands of dollars away in litigation. Thank you, Dina!"
Annie
Annie
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"The transition out of marriage has been difficult and emotional. Dina has shown excellent professionalism throughout the process. She has a warm sensitivity that allows both parties to see what is most beneficial for the family unit. I thank her for all her hard work and her quick email responses during this challenging time. Dina comes with quality legal experience and advocates for BOTH sides. Most of all, I am thankful that she has helped our family as a whole work through this. My children and my ex-husband can now move forward and rebuild our lives. Thank you Dina."
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Most Successful Divorce Mediation Practice in California

Simple to complex family law matters, we empower our parties to obtain the highest quality divorce agreements.