Washington Collaborative Divorce Lawyer In Olympia
Conflict Reduction, Negotiation, and Peaceful Divorce Settlements
The Olympia, Washington collaborative divorce lawyers at Truce Law can help you negotiate your divorce outside court. When you choose collaborative divorce, you, your former partner, and your collaborative divorce lawyers will sit together at the negotiating table to reach a divorce settlement. The decision to get divorced can be heart-wrenching, and can raise many emotions, but the reality is that divorce is just as much a legal process as it is a personal one. To get divorced you’ll need to make decisions about how to split assets, debts, property, and if you have children, you’ll need to make choices about child custody and visitation. The choices you make today can impact your life for years to come. It can be very difficult to change a parenting plan once one has been made and you cannot change a divorce settlement once it has been finalized. When it comes to dividing retirement accounts, making decisions about what to do with a shared home, dividing debts, or making custody plans, it is important to get these choices right, and to make them with a clear head. The Olympia, Washington collaborative divorce lawyers at Truce Law are here to help. We can take the time to learn about your goals, and then work collaboratively with you, your former partner, and his or her collaborative divorce lawyer to reach a fair agreement that works for you and your changing family.
The adversarial divorce process can cost thousands of dollars because your divorce lawyer will spend billable hours preparing you for court. At the end of the day, most divorces don’t get settled in court. Thurston County requires couples filing for divorce to attend a settlement conference where a judge will try to help them negotiate a deal outside of court. You might spend thousands getting ready to fight your divorce, only to end up settling at the negotiating table. And if a judge does end up making decisions because you cannot resolve your differences through mediation or a settlement conference, you run the risk that the judge might make a decision regarding child custody or your finances that neither of you want. Collaborative divorce is different. Where adversarial divorces often end up in mediation, collaborative divorce begins where they end up—saving you time and money and protecting your privacy. If you want to learn more about whether collaborative divorce is the right choice for you, reach out to the collaborative divorce lawyers in Olympia, Washington at Truce Law today.
Leslie E. Beauregard, Attorney
How Collaborative Divorce Works in Olympia, Washington
The collaborative divorce process begins when you and your former partner both sign a “collaborative participation agreement.” In this agreement you and your former partner agree to settle your differences outside court and to act in good faith throughout the negotiation process. You’ll each hire your own collaborative divorce lawyers to represent you and put your best interests first, while also helping you negotiate with your former partner and his or her attorneys. Every collaborative divorce will be a little different, but here is a general idea of what happens during collaborative divorce:
- Set Your Goals. Before you begin the negotiation process, you, your collaborative divorce lawyer in Olympia, Washington, your former partner, and his or her lawyer will sit down to understand your goals for your divorce. Do you want to keep the family home? Do you want custody of the children? Are you looking for a particular custody arrangement? The Olympia, Washington collaborative divorce lawyers at Truce Law take the time to understand what you really want so that we can better negotiate the settlement that works for you. Sometimes what you really want can be achieved through many paths, and this is where a collaborative divorce attorney in Olympia, Washington at Truce Law can help you.
- Negotiation. In many divorces there are aspects of the settlement where you and your former partner may have disagreements. Some couples can agree about finances but have trouble agreeing about visitation for the children. Your Olympia, Washington collaborative divorce attorney at Truce Law can bring professionals and experts to the negotiation table to help you resolve these disagreements. Parenting coaches, mental health counselors, child counselors, financial planners, and more might have a role in your collaborative divorce team. Your collaborative divorce lawyer can help you create the right team for you, so you can negotiate a parenting plan and divorce agreement that works.
- Settlement. Once you and your former partner reach an agreement, your Olympia, Washington collaborative divorce lawyer at Truce Law can formalize your divorce paperwork and send this paperwork to court electronically or by the mail. The best part about using the collaborative divorce process is that you and your former partner won’t have to set foot inside a courtroom or wait months to a year for a court date.
Collaborative divorce can save you stress, time, and money. If you are thinking of filing for divorce and want to find a better way forward, reach out to the Olympia, Washington collaborative divorce law firm at Truce Law today. We are here to help.
How Collaborative Divorce Can Help You Settle Your Divorce Peacefully
The issues that you’ll need to resolve during your divorce in Washington’s Capitol will depend upon your unique situation. Some of the issues divorcing couples need to answer in Olympia, Washington include:
- Child Custody
- Division of Property (Family Home)
- Division of Assets (Bank Accounts, Retirement Accounts, Investments)
- Division of Debts
A collaborative divorce lawyer in Olympia, Washington can help you with each of these issues, allowing you and your former partner to put resentments and anger aside so you can make rational decisions for your future. Child custody can be one of the most emotionally difficult negotiations during the divorce process but taking a child custody battle to court rarely ends the way you plan it. Judges often don’t want to make parenting decisions. In fact, in Thurston County, divorcing couples are required to attend a settlement conference where they are encouraged to reach a deal without trial. In the worst-case scenario, a judge might make a custody decision using the best interests of the child standard, but this might result in a decision neither party wants. The better way forward is collaborative divorce, where you and your collaborative divorce team (which can include therapists and counselors), can work together to help you find a parenting plan that works. Research indicates that children experience less ongoing trauma when their parents aren’t arguing or actively fighting. The collaborative divorce process can help you build a strong foundation to be better co-parents as you work out your parenting plan. Think of your collaborative divorce team as an investment in your future and your children’s future.
If you have a pension, a 401(k), or other investments, you may need to divide these during your divorce if these accounts are considered marital property. Retirement accounts cannot be divided like most accounts because they are subject to strict regulations set by the IRS about how money can be withdrawn without penalty. A collaborative divorce lawyer in Olympia, Washington can help you make decisions about dividing retirement accounts. Divorce can affect your retirement plans, but it doesn’t have to affect your future. A collaborative divorce lawyer in Olympia, Washington can take the time to learn more about your goals and work out a divorce settlement with those goals in mind.
In addition to retirement accounts, your family home is likely the largest investment you and your former partner share. Collaborative divorce can help you and your former partner negotiate a solution that works for you. The risk of taking a dispute about the family home to court is that a judge might order the sale of your home. If the housing market isn’t ideal, you could lose money. The collaborative divorce lawyers in Olympia, Washington at Truce Law are here to help you find creative solutions to some of the toughest issues that can arise during your divorce.
Benefits of Collaborative Divorce in Olympia, Washington
When you choose collaborative divorce, you can save yourself time and money, not to mention, protect your privacy and prevent unnecessary stress. With collaborative divorce you can save thousands of dollars because your lawyer isn’t spending time preparing for a big court battle. Instead, you can invest your money in hiring specialists and professionals who can help you craft the best possible divorce agreement while building a good foundation for your co-parenting journey. You can save time with the collaborative divorce process because you won’t need to wait for a judge to find time to hear your case. In Washington it can take months to a year to get a court date. Your negotiations with collaborative divorce are on your schedule. And when you have a settlement, your collaborative divorce attorney in Olympia, Washington can send your paperwork to court either by mail or electronically, eliminating the need for either of you to step foot in court.
Finally, taking a case to trial has the added risk that anything you say in court can end up on the public record. Collaborative divorce negotiations take place in private, so if things get heated, you can just take a time out, without the world knowing details about your private life. Collaborative divorce takes away the stress of going to trial.
If you are thinking of getting divorced, there is an easier way. Contact the collaborative divorce lawyers in Olympia, Washington at Truce Law today. We can help you begin.