Consider avoiding court during your divorce proceedings to retain control over the decision-making process. Mediation can be an effective solution for couples who are struggling to find common ground. Mediation can be a beneficial option for resolving multiple issues in a divorce. Our attorneys can provide legal guidance while a mediator assists with negotiations. Mediation is also voluntary, and you can’t be forced to accept any terms you’re not comfortable with. Courts often require or encourage mediation before proceeding with a divorce in court.
Mediation allows you to make important decisions about your divorce with the guidance of your attorneys and a neutral mediator. Choosing mediation keeps your divorce terms private and can be less expensive, less time-consuming, and less formal than going to court. Even if you can’t resolve every issue, anything you can agree on is one less thing for the court to decide.
Mediation empowers you to retain control over crucial divorce decisions that will have a substantial impact on your and your children’s lives after the divorce. Surrendering this right to the judge handling your case should only be considered when no other alternative, such as mediation, is available to progress the divorce process.
Regrettably, it’s a common occurrence for homeowners and contractors to forego formal written agreements, instead relying on bids or invoices. This practice has resulted in numerous lawsuits due to misunderstandings that could have been avoided if the parties had clarified their expectations from the outset. To prevent such conflicts, it’s crucial to include specific construction tasks in writing, written change orders for any work beyond the original contract, an attorney’s fees clause, payment dates and schedules, and a total project cost not to exceed. If you’re a homeowner and a contractor took your deposit but failed to complete or poorly executed the work, you can seek legal action against them and their bond if available.
On the other hand, if you’re a contractor and a homeowner refuses to pay you for your agreed-upon work, you can file a lien on the property where the work was carried out to secure payment.
Benefits of Mediation in Divorce Proceedings
- Privacy: Terms can be kept private, especially beneficial for couples with sensitive child custody issues, high assets, or recognizable names.
- Cost: Mediation is generally less expensive than divorce in terms of legal fees.
- Success: Mediation is highly successful and can allow for better communication between both parties post-divorce.
- Time: Mediation is less time consuming than moving through the court system and its scheduling complications.
- Stress: Mediation is less formal than litigating in court, which can alleviate some stress.
- Resolution: Even if not all issues are resolved during mediation, each resolved issue is one less issue for the court to determine on your behalf.
Matters of Divorce
Divorce mediation attorneys understand that each divorce is unique in its own way, but there are common issues that must be addressed in every divorce, including the following (when applicable):
- Child Custody Arrangements – Shared children often pose significant concerns in a divorce. By keeping these decisions in your and your co-parent’s hands, you have the opportunity to create customized arrangements that meet the specific needs and circumstances of your family. Mediation can be instrumental in facilitating this process.
- Division of Marital Property – In Washington, marital property is divided in a manner that is deemed fair and equitable, but interpretations of fairness can vary between individuals and the court. A mediator can help both parties gain a better understanding of how the court might divide shared property, which can encourage compromise and practical solutions.
- Child Support – Child support calculations follow state guidelines and are based on the financial contribution of the paying parent to their children’s ongoing support.
- Spousal Maintenance – Also known as alimony, spousal maintenance is not a routine aspect of divorce but may be appropriate when one spouse has a financial need and the other has the means to provide support (typically for a temporary period) following the divorce.