Family Law and Mediation

Family Law is the legal area that addresses issues like adoption, divorce, legal separation, paternity, child custody, visitation and support, and marital property. About half of all marriages in Washington end in divorce, and if there are children involved, decisions must be made to determine their living arrangements and financial support.

I often hear from prospective clients who are looking for ways to avoid going to court and for help in working respectively with the other person to economically and efficiently create agreements and navigate the legal process.  Some clients refer to this as an uncontested divorce or agreed divorce, noting that they and their spouse are committed to doing the divorce with respect, but even divorces with conflict and disagreement can be resolved in this manner. I am happy to speak with you about your situation and your options.

One way to resolve disputes in family law is with mediation. As a mediator, I will objectively help you and the other person to work out mutually agreeable solutions for your family law issue. We do this by having one or more sessions together, with or without attorneys, to work through issues that will need to be decided. Another option is to use the Collaborative Law Process, where you work with your spouse and both attorneys to identify interests and create agreements together. Both of these options can help you through your family law issue with less stress and expense.

Mediation and Collaborative Law: a better family law alternative

Mediation can occur when a neutral third party, usually an attorney, assists the couple in reaching an amicable agreement. In mediation, both spouses take part in the proceedings. You are empowered to create reasonable agreements and arrangements in a spirit of give-and-take, rather than having a judge make an all-or-nothing decision. In collaborative law, both spouses have attorneys, and all work together to reach solutions.

If your family law issues wind up in court, the decisions about your children, marital assets and support will be made by a judge who knows little about your personal preferences or circumstances. I find that mediation and collaborative law are ways to personalize your agreements and craft more creative solutions.

Like you, I believe that the emotional health and well-being of children should be the top concern for everyone involved in a divorce, including your attorney. I have seen bitter divorces damage families and children severely, especially when one spouse uses the child’s custody, visitation and support to try to punish the other parent.

Most of this rancor and turmoil can be avoided, however, if divorcing parents can work together (which is often easier with the assistance of professionals) to resolve divorce issues like custody and visitation in a reasonable manner. After all, while you may not be a couple anymore, you will always be your child’s parents.

In many cases, collaborative law or mediation is a better alternative, when both parties agree to enter into the negotiations in a spirit of collaboration and cooperation.  We can discuss if one of these options may be appropriate for your situation in our initial consultation.

The legal know-how you need

I have the experience and qualifications my clients need to help you resolve family law matters using Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) techniques like mediation and collaborative law. I have extensive training and experience in collaborative law, and I can provide valuable guidance in resolving your family law and divorce issues in ways that are less aggressive, less expensive, and less traumatic to your children.

A full range of family law services

I provide comprehensive legal guidance in many family law matters, including:

  • Collaborative law
  • Divorce
  • Child custody
  • Child support and enforcement
  • Child custody and support modification
  • Prenuptial agreements
  • Legal separation
  • Alimony/Spousal Maintenance
  • Annulment
  • Community property
  • Marital property

Call me today for solutions

Contact my office today to learn all the options available to resolve your family law issues. You can arrange an initial consultation at the time that is convenient for you, tell me about your situation and issues, and get a straightforward assessment of your case and your options. Call my office at 253-210-2872 to schedule your first appointment.