Going through the divorce process does not always mean you have to end up in court. The court system can be agonizingly slow, overwhelmingly expensive, and frequently leaves everyone disappointed with the result. Mediation can be used as an alternative method for resolving a family’s legal disputes and is often an effective tool for doing so amicably. Discuss your situation with an experienced Bellevue family law mediation attorney at Smythe jones PLLC before assuming that your case will go to trial.
Why Choose Our Washington Mediation Lawyer?
- Our divorce lawyers offer compassionate, experienced advice on all family law issues, including custody, child support, spousal support/maintenance, and divorce.
- We are dedicated to protecting and advocating for our clients’ rights while helping them achieve their goals in a timely and cost-effective manner.
- We have more than 30 years of experience successfully using the techniques of negotiation, mediation, and arbitration for our clients.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary out-of-court process that allows a divorcing couple, and sometimes their respective lawyers, to discuss issues and reach mutual agreements with the help of a neutral third party, called a mediator. Typical issues addressed include:
- Child custody
- Child expenses
- Child support
- Spousal support/maintenance
- Division of property and debts
The power to resolve these matters lies in the hands of the parties. The mediator is only meant to be used as a guide and legal resource; they do not make decisions, dictate terms, or give advice.
What are the Benefits of Mediation?
Mediation gives families the power to determine the terms of their divorce and can be useful even when a court case is not currently pending. The many additional benefits include:
- Preventing a case from going to court, by reaching a potential settlement agreement.
- Significantly reduces costs and moves quickly, compared to litigation.
- Spares everyone involved the stress and frustration of going to court.
- Discussions within a mediation are confidential, meaning there will be no public record.
- A judge will not be making decisions for you. Solutions can be created that make the most sense for you and your family.
- The meetings are voluntary and convenient for busy work schedules.
- Skilled support that works to preserve the personal relationship between parties.
While mediation is the right option for many divorcing couples, it does not work for all. For example, it may be best to have a lawyer negotiate instead when abuse or domestic violence is involved. Going to court may also be necessary when a spouse is stalling mediation proceedings or avoiding payment, and temporary orders regarding custody and support are needed.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer for Mediation?
The role of a lawyer is unlike a mediator, in that they are not neutral and are there to advise and be your advocate. Prior to proceedings, your attorney will devise a plan and strategy to ensure your objectives are heard and achieved. That way you go into mediation feeling comfortable and confident. A divorce mediation lawyer will also be knowledgeable in the applicable state laws and able to give you an idea of the results you might get if your case went to court.
Contact Smythe & Jones PLLC
If you would like to learn more about the mediation process and how it may benefit you, reach us online or by calling (425) 436-5777.