Washington Collaborative Divorce Lawyer in Lynnwood
Collaborative Divorce Can Help You Avoid Court
The Lynnwood, Washington collaborative divorce lawyers at Truce Law can help you settle your divorce without the need to go to court. The collaborative divorce process allows divorcing couples to reach an agreement about dividing assets, debts, and property over the negotiating table rather than in court. Child custody decisions are also made in private and formalized privately. Once decisions have been made, your Lynnwood, Washington collaborative divorce lawyer at Truce Law can submit your divorce paperwork by mail or electronically.
When couples choose the conventional divorce process, their divorce lawyers often prepare their clients for court. The reality is that even when couples go to court, judges may order mediation or may ask that the couples sit down to negotiate their disagreements. Most divorces are settled outside of court. You might spend thousands of dollars preparing for a court battle, only to go to court to be sent to mediation. The collaborative divorce process begins where these divorces end up—at the negotiating table. From the very start, you and your partner agree to reach a divorce agreement outside of court. This can save you time and money and protect your privacy.
Truce Law is a collaborative divorce law firm in Lynnwood, Washington that works with couples who want to file for divorce. Our collaborative divorce lawyers are skilled in the art of negotiation. We offer our clients the tools they need to peacefully resolve conflicts and reach a divorce settlement that is in the best interests of all. Collaborative divorce offers a more peaceful alternative to the high conflict of taking a divorce to court. Contact Truce Law today to learn more about the collaborative divorce process in Lynnwood, Washington.
Leslie E. Beauregard, Attorney
How Collaborative Divorce Works in Lynnwood, Washington
When you choose to use the collaborative divorce process, both you and your former partner will sign a “collaborative participation agreement” in which you both agree to settle your differences outside court. In many ways, collaborative divorce in Lynnwood, Washington is like traditional divorce. Both you and your former partner will each hire your own collaborative divorce lawyer to represent you. The goal of the process is to reach a divorce agreement where you divide marital assets, debts, property, and formalize your decisions about parenting and child custody in a parenting plan. The difference between collaborative divorce and traditional divorce is that the goal isn’t to settle these differences in court, but to settle these differences at the negotiating table.
When you reach a divorce agreement through the collaborative divorce process, you don’t put important decisions about parenting and your finances in the hands of a judge. At the end of the day, you and your former partner are the best people to make decisions about child custody, parenting time, parental decision-making, and your finances. If you take your case to court, there’s always the risk that the judge will make a decision neither you nor your former partner want.
The Lynnwood, Washington collaborative divorce lawyers at Truce Law create a negotiation environment where you and your former spouse can each discuss your goals, your needs, and your desires. We can put together a strong collaborative divorce team that may include counselors, parenting coaches, accountants, financial planners, and more. Because you’ll be saving money on preparing for a court battle, you can invest your resources in putting together the best possible team to help you settle your divorce amicably and fairly. You only get one chance to get your divorce agreement right (because a divorce agreement cannot be changed once it has been finalized), and it can be very difficult to change a parenting plan once it has been approved by the court. Truce Law is a Lynnwood, Washington collaborative divorce law firm that can work with you and your former partner to help you craft a divorce agreement that helps you and your family begin the next stage of your journey.
Dividing Pension and Retirement Accounts in Divorce in Lynnwood, Washington
If you live in Lynnwood, Washington and work for Boeing or Microsoft, two of Lynnwood’s major employers, you may have a pension plan or stock options, and may be wondering what your rights might be regarding your pension and retirement if you’re filing for divorce. Retirement accounts, like 401(k)s, IRAs, stock options and pension plans will likely be among your most valuable assets alongside your home. The Lynnwood, Washington collaborative divorce lawyers at Truce Law can help you negotiate the division of these significant assets.
Truce Law can take the time to determine whether your retirement accounts should be considered separate property or shared marital assets. In most cases, any money you put into a retirement account, options that have vested, or any contributions to your pension fund during your marriage will be considered marital property. Some couples choose to divide their retirement accounts and pension funds down the middle, but it is important to understand that you can’t just withdraw money from a retirement account without facing tax penalties. There are very specific procedures and laws that must be followed to divide a retirement account or pension fund during your divorce. You’ll need to get a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, and may need to contact your employer or pension plan administrator to request change of beneficiary forms.
In some cases, couples find creative ways to divide assets, allowing one person to keep the retirement account or pension fund, while the other partner receives the family home, savings, or other assets. Yet, it is important to carefully assess the value of each of these assets because some may have special tax protections and may be worth more than their stated values because of these benefits.
A collaborative divorce lawyer in Lynnwood, Washington at Truce Law is a crucial member of your collaborative divorce team. Our lawyers can help you put together financial planners and advisors who can help you and your former partner make the best possible financial decisions. Rather than fighting your case in court, contact Truce Law today to learn how a collaborative divorce can help you peacefully divide assets while protecting your retirement plans.
Risks of Going to Court in Lynnwood, Washington
Taking your divorce disagreement to a judge has many risks. There is the chance that the judge will make a decision about your finances or your parenting plan that neither you nor your former spouse wants. Most divorces are settled outside of court. This means that judges often send couples to the negotiating table anyway. This can cost you more money because you might be stuck hiring a mediator to help you negotiate your divorce in addition to paying a divorce lawyer to prepare for a court battle. If you want to avoid some of the stress and risks of court, reach out to the collaborative divorce lawyers in Lynnwood, Washington at Truce Law. We can help you settle your differences over the negotiating table and even file your paperwork by mail or electronically, eliminating the need for you and your former partner to ever have to step foot in court.
Benefits of Collaborative Divorce in Lynnwood, Washington
While there are many benefits to choosing the collaborative divorce process in Lynwood, Washington, the three key benefits include saved time, saved money, and privacy protections. How can a collaborative divorce help you? Here are some key ways:
- A Collaborative Divorce Can Save You Money. Going to court and preparing for a court battle is expensive. To make matters worse, if you go to court, there’s the likely possibility that the judge will require you to hire a mediator and send you to the negotiating table anyway. Not only will you then be stuck hiring another professional to help you with your divorce, but you’ll have all the added costs of having gone to court. Collaborative divorce begins where other divorces end up—at the negotiating table. When you work with the collaborative divorce lawyers in Lynnwood, Washington at Truce Law, we begin where they end up. Best of all, you might never have to set foot in a divorce court. We can file your divorce paperwork electronically or by mail.
- A Collaborative Divorce Can Save You Time. If you need to set up a trial date, it will take longer to finalize your divorce. When you choose the collaborative divorce process, your divorce negotiations will be on your timeline. You won’t have to wait for the court to have time to hear your case or run the risk that you’ll be sent to mediation—all processes that take more time. If you want to get divorced quickly, working with a collaborative divorce lawyer in Lynnwood, Washington can help you reach your divorce goals faster.
- A Collaborative Divorce Can Protect Your Privacy. When you take a divorce to court, everything you say in court can end up on the public record. Collaborative divorce happens in private, meaning that sensitive information about your finances or private life won’t be out in the open. The only people who know about your divorce in a collaborative divorce are you, your former partner, and your divorce lawyers, and any other people you choose to add to your collaborative divorce team. In a court battle, anything said about you or your former spouse can become public knowledge. In a collaborative divorce, if things get heated, anything said in anger stays private, and your collaborative divorce lawyer can call for a time out.
These are just some of the key benefits of choosing the collaborative divorce process. Other benefits include peace of mind, less stress, and the fact that by choosing negotiation over litigation, you and your partner increase the chances that you’ll be able to be better co-parents, and leave the process if not friends, than as two people who have a better understanding of one another. When parents don’t argue or when they can reach a negotiation about parenting, children tend to fare better, and parents are better able to work together to raise their children.
The collaborative divorce lawyers in Lynnwood, Washington at Truce Law pride ourselves on having the negotiation tools to help countless couples peacefully settle their divorces. Contact us today to begin the process. We can help you resolve your differences outside of court, and can file your divorce paperwork electronically or by mail so that you and your former partner never have to step foot inside a courtroom.