Washington Collaborative Divorce Lawyer In Bellevue
The Bellevue, Washington collaborative divorce lawyers at Truce Law can help you negotiate your divorce settlement outside court, allowing you to file for divorce without ever having to step foot inside a courtroom. Collaborative divorce is a process distinct from uncontested and contested divorce. Before starting your collaborative divorce, both you and your former partner will each hire your own collaborative divorce attorney. Together you’ll work out your divorce agreement at the negotiating table and find a peaceful resolution to your disagreements. Divorce requires couples to make crucial decisions about dividing assets, retirement accounts, and debts. If you have children, you’ll also need to make custody decisions. Many aspects of the divorce settlement process require compromise as well as some give and take.
Your collaborative divorce lawyer’s role is to look out for your best interests throughout the negotiation process while also working collaboratively with your former partner and his or her lawyer to reach a divorce agreement that works for you and your family. The goal of the collaborative divorce process is to find a compromise that works for both parties without the need to fight it out before a judge. This can save you and your former partner time and money, as well as reduce some of the stress of getting divorced.
The alternative is conventional divorce, where you hire a lawyer who learns about your divorce goals and then prepares to fight for them in court. The adversarial divorce process is one where your lawyer may fight to win. Rather than trying to understand your mutual and differing goals and work out a solution that helps both you and your former partner compromise, the adversarial divorce process is all too often a winner-takes-all approach. The reality is that most divorces aren’t settled in court. King County requires alternative dispute resolution unless there was domestic violence in the relationship. Couples are offered free mediation through Family Court Services, but like public defenders, free mediators are often overworked and may only be able to offer limited assistance. Many couples end up hiring a private mediator and end up at the negotiating table anyway, paying not only for their lawyers but also for mediation. The collaborative divorce process simply begins where they end up—at the negotiation table. By choosing the collaborative divorce process, you and your former partner can save thousands on legal and court fees. Getting a court date alone can take months or even up to a year. With the collaborative divorce process, you don’t have to wait.
The collaborative divorce lawyers in Bellevue, Washington at Truce Law are here to help you and your former partner settle your divorce outside court. If you’re looking for a better, faster, and ore peaceful way to file for divorce, speak to Truce Law today.
Justin W. Aanenson, Attorney
What Happens During the Collaborative Divorce Process in Bellevue, Washington?
The collaborative divorce process is like traditional divorce in many ways. Both you and your former partner will each hire your own divorce attorneys, but with collaborative divorce, you and your former partner will each hire collaborative divorce lawyers who can use negotiation strategies to help you and your former partner reach a divorce agreement, and who can connect you with experts who can assist you with financial planning, parenting concerns, or help you work through anger and other strong emotions so you can put emotions aside and craft a divorce agreement that has your best interests and future in mind. Before you begin the process, both you and your former partner will each sign a “collaborative participation agreement.” In this agreement, you both agree to settle your differences at the negotiating table rather than take your divorce to court.
The core of your collaborative divorce team will be your lawyer, your partner’s lawyer and both you and your former partner. As concerns arise, you may want to hire financial planners, parenting coaches, counselors, or other specialists to help you with your divorce agreement. While divorce is a highly personal decision, it is also a legal process that involves your finances, property, and debts. If you have children, you’ll need to make child custody decisions as well. Getting these decisions right the first time is important. You cannot change a divorce agreement once it is finalized by a judge, and it can be challenging to change a parenting plan once it has been approved by the court. Many couples see it as a good investment to hire counselors, coaches, and financial planners as they make these crucial decisions.
Once you and your former partner reach an agreement, your collaborative divorce lawyer in Bellevue, Washington can submit your divorce paperwork to the court. With the collaborative divorce process, there’s no need to step foot in court. Truce Law is a collaborative divorce law firm in Bellevue, Washington that has the tools and resources to help you get divorced peacefully, quickly, and in a way that can save you thousands.
How Collaborative Law Can Help You with a High-Net Worth Divorce in Bellevue, Washington
If you are a high-earning couple, there might be major financial implications for getting divorced. You and your partner may have acquired properties, seen your investments grow, or added to retirement or savings accounts during your marriage. If you both brought income and assets into the marriage, determining what assets are separate and what assets are shared is essential. If you own property oversees, have offshore accounts, or have invested in complex financial instruments, your divorce might be even more complicated, because determining the value of the marital estate may not always be straightforward in this situation.
The good news is that you can choose the collaborative divorce process if you are a high net worth couple seeking divorce. Litigation doesn’t necessarily offer added benefits when it comes to resolving some of the complex issues that can arise in a high net-worth divorce. Both parties must disclose their financial situation in good faith, and you can add a forensic accountant to your divorce team who can make sense of your financial picture if it is complicated. When you enter into the collaborative divorce process, you both sign an agreement to participate that indicates that you will both work together in good faith to help all members of the collaborative divorce team understand your full financial picture and help you work out a divorce agreement that is fair for both parties. In some cases, there might be a significant financial imbalance between one party and the other. Because both parties are each represented by a collaborative divorce lawyer during the process, each lawyer can look out for the interests of their client, ensuring that financial professionals do their due diligence and that the divorce agreement considers each party’s rights. A skilled collaborative divorce lawyer representing a lower-earning spouse in a high net worth divorce can request sworn financial disclosures and bring forensic accountants to the table. Rather than using the discovery process and litigation, with the collaborative divorce process both parties agree beforehand to fully disclose all information and to act in good faith.
If you are a high net worth couple looking to use resources wisely and avoid court, the collaborative divorce lawyers in Bellevue, Washington at Truce Law may be able to help you. The best part about the collaborative process is that it is private. If you’re looking for discretion and don’t want to have your private financial information disclosed openly in court, a collaborative divorce lawyer in Bellevue, Washington at Truce Law may be able to help you.
Dividing Pensions, Retirement Accounts, and Property in Bellevue, Washington
If you live in Bellevue, Washington and are thinking about getting divorced, some of the main things you’ll need to think about dividing during your divorce are the following:
- Division of Pensions
- Division of Retirement Accounts
- Division of the Family Home and Other Properties
Amazon, Microsoft, and T-Mobile are some of Bellevue, Washington’s leading employers and these companies offers their employees 401(k)s, stock options, and pension plans, along with health benefits. Other major employers in the Bellevue, Washington area offer their employees 401(k)s and pension plans. If you have a pension plan or a 401(k) retirement plan and are thinking about getting divorced, it is important to consider what implications your divorce might have on your pension plan or retirement account.
The collaborative divorce process can help you and your former partner make crucial decisions about your finances. You can hire financial planners and accountants and even forensic accountants to join your collaborative divorce team to help you and your former partner make the best possible decisions for your future. Dividing a pension can be complicated. The IRS has strict rules about how you need to withdraw money during your divorce, so you don’t suffer a penalty. There is the added complication of determining whether the pension plan or retirement plan is marital property or separate property.
When determining whether a pension is subject to division during your divorce, the biggest question will be whether you began saving under the pension plan before you were married or after you were married. If you began saving before you were married, the portion of the plan you had saved before you got married is yours to keep, but any added value it gained while you were married may be subject to division during your divorce. Pension plans started after you were married may be considered marital property and subject to division during divorce.
Divorce can raise some complicated issues. The collaborative divorce process can help you address these major questions, but in a way that avoids court and the adversarial process. If you’re looking for a more peaceful way to reach a divorce agreement, the collaborative divorce lawyers at Truce Law in Bellevue, Washington are here to help.
Benefits of Collaborative Divorce in Bellevue, Washington
The collaborative divorce process can save you time, money, and protect your privacy. Rather than spending thousands of dollars on lawyers who will prepare you for court, you can invest your money in hiring specialists and counselors who can help you craft a collaborative divorce agreement that works for you and your family. Rather than waiting for the court to have time to hear your case, your divorce negotiations can happen on your own timeline, and once you reach an agreement, your collaborative divorce lawyer in Bellevue, Washington can submit your divorce paperwork by mail or electronically, so you and your former partner never have to step foot in a courtroom. It can take months or up to a year to get a court date in Washington. The collaborative divorce process also protects your privacy. Anything you say during the collaborative process happens at the negotiating table, meaning it happens in private. Anything you say during your divorce in court can end up on the public record. Many couples choose the collaborative divorce process because of the added discretion it offers.
There are also risks of choosing traditional divorce. If you take your case to a judge, there is always the risk that the judge will make decisions about parenting plans, child custody, and your finances that neither you nor your partner want. If you own a home together and cannot decide what to do, it is possible the judge might order the home sold. Finally, when you file for conventional divorce in King County, before you even appear before a judge, you’ll be sent to mediation, meaning you’ll end up at the negotiating table anyway.
The Bellevue, Washington collaborative divorce lawyers at Truce Law are here to help you navigate the major issues that can arise if you’re getting divorced. We have the negotiation strategies and tools to help you peacefully resolve your differences and craft a divorce agreement that is fair and right for you. Some of the benefits of collaborative divorce are hard to quantify. There’s the fact that by approaching the divorce settlement process collaboratively you don’t have to view your former partner as an adversary, which creates more animosity. There’s the reduced stress of not having to go to court, and there’s the benefit of choosing a process that helps you put emotions aside, letting you focus on making sound financial and parenting decisions.