Washington Collaborative Divorce Lawyer In Tacoma
The Tacoma, Washington collaborative divorce lawyers at Truce Law can help you negotiate your divorce settlement outside court, and when you reach a settlement, file your divorce papers electronically or by mail so that you and your former partner never have to step foot inside a courtroom. Getting a court date in Washington can take months to a year. Collaborative divorce offers an easier, faster way. While divorce can be difficult, collaborative divorce offers a way forward that doesn’t involve a lengthy, costly, and challenging court battle. With the collaborative divorce process, you and your former partner agree to settle your differences at the negotiating table, rather than in the courtroom, saving you time and money while also protecting your privacy and reducing stress.
The decision to get divorced can be hard enough. During the process, you and your former partner will have to make choices about how to divide your debts, assets, retirement accounts, and if you have children, you’ll need to make child custody decisions. Navigating these decisions can be challenging enough but taking your disagreements to court rarely makes things better. With conventional divorce, your lawyer will often prepare for a court fight. Yet, Pierce County Superior Court requires divorcing couples to participate in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). ADR can include a range of options, including exchanging written proposals, arbitration, mediation, or attending a settlement conference. These processes can stall or be difficult if your lawyer and your former partner’s lawyers aren’t working together or striving to find creative solutions. While you and your former partner might each want different things, there may be many paths to get there. If your case involves a child custody battle, you’ll be required to attend a settlement conference before your court date. Many conventional cases are resolved through ADR rather than through court, but the process can sometimes be difficult if everyone isn’t coordinated or working together. The collaborative divorce process begins where these couples end up—at the negotiation table. This can save you and your former partner thousands of dollars.
If you and your former partner want to find a better path forward, reach out to the collaborative divorce lawyers in Tacoma, Washington at Truce Law. We bring negotiation strategies and conflict resolution tools to the table to help you and your former partner find a peaceful path to settling your divorce.
Leslie E. Beauregard, Attorney
How Collaborative Divorce Works in Tacoma, Washington
To begin the collaborative divorce process in Tacoma, Washington, both you and your former partner will sign a “collaborative participation agreement” in which you both agree to settle your divorce without going to court. Like conventional divorce, both you and your former partner will each be represented by your own attorneys. This allows the negotiation process to be fair and ensures that each of you has an attorney ultimately looking out for each of your best interests. Both you and your former partner both need to agree to settle your divorce using the collaborative divorce process to have a collaborative divorce. If one of you wants the process but the other doesn’t agree, then your divorce may end up in court. While every divorce is a little different, here are some key steps in a collaborative divorce:
- Discussing Goals. At the start of your collaborative divorce in Tacoma, Washington, both you and your former partner will sit down with your collaborative divorce lawyer to discuss what you each want. If you both agree about how to divide assets, debts, retirement accounts, and both agree about how child custody should be handled, then your collaborative divorce lawyers can work together to formalize this agreement in your divorce settlement. But many times, with divorce, some of the things you and your former partner might want may be in conflict. This is where negotiation comes into the picture.
- Negotiation. If you and your former partner disagree about aspects of your divorce settlement, the Tacoma, Washington collaborative divorce lawyers at Truce Law can sit down with you and your former partner, and his or her attorney to find a resolution that works for the both of you. Your collaborative divorce team may include other professionals who can help you make the best possible decisions for your divorce. Your team might include counselors, mental health therapists, financial advisors and planners, and divorce therapists. Ultimately, the goal of all this work is to help you and your former partner understand all the options available to you and find a compromise that lets you both get a little of what you want. Divorce is rarely a winner-takes-all fight. Even divorces that go to court involve compromise and negotiation. The negotiation process can help you and your former partner build a strong foundation to be better co-parents for your children. As you end your marriage, you and your former partner will start a new journey as co-parents. The collaborative divorce process can give you the tools, resources, and professional support to begin this journey on the right foot.
- Settlement. Once you and your former partner agree about how to settle your divorce, your collaborative divorce lawyers in Tacoma, Washington can formalize this agreement. The best part about the collaborative divorce process is that you and your former partner never have to step foot inside a courtroom. Your collaborative divorce lawyer can submit your divorce paperwork by mail or electronically.
Collaborative divorce can save you and your former partner time and money and reduce stress. Truce Law is a collaborative divorce law firm in Tacoma, Washington that can work with you to help you find a peaceful resolution to your divorce.
Dividing Debts in Divorce: The Collaborative Divorce Method
If you and your former partner share debts, dividing debts in divorce in Tacoma, Washington can be just as challenging as dividing property. We often hear about the issues that can arise when couples try to divide assets, bank accounts, and property, but the reality is that once you and your spouse can agree about what assets, bank accounts, and property are shared, then most couples find a way to either evenly split assets or find ways to split assets so the lower earning spouse can get back on his or her feet after divorce. Debts can be even more challenging, because both you could still be held responsible for debts your former partner created even if you weren’t aware he or she got into these debts. Any debts created during a marriage are generally the responsibility of both people.
Two things need to be kept in mind when it comes to debt. First, the person whose name is on the original loan contract, credit card agreement, or line of credit, will be responsible for that debt in the eyes of the bank, creditor, or loan originator. If you and your former spouse have credit cards in both your names, then in the eyes of the creditor, both you and your former spouse are responsible for paying. This can create problems if only one person in a divorce is ordered to make payments on a credit card in both your names in the divorce decree, but then fails to make these payments. It can also create problems if an ex-spouse files for bankruptcy and has an account that’s in both your names. When it comes to dividing debts, a clean solution that ensures that each party’s debt is solely in his or her name is best. This might involve consolidating debt, paying off shared lines of credit with credit in only one person’s name, or refinancing loans. A collaborative divorce lawyer in Tacoma, Washington at Truce Law, along with financial planners and debt counselors can help you navigate this process.
The collaborative divorce lawyers in Tacoma, Washington at Truce Law can help you and your former spouse negotiate how to divide debts. First, you’ll need to identify which debts are separate and which debts are marital debts. Many couples might simply choose to split marital debts down the middle, but in couples where one partner has a higher income or more resources, debt division may be unequal to help the couple meet other divorce goals (for example one partner might take on more debt to pay less in alimony, if alimony will be owed). Once you know how much debt each of you is responsible for, you may be able to consolidate debts, use a credit card in your name to pay off debt in both your names, or refinance loans. Finally, when it comes to lines of credit or credit cards, your collaborative divorce team can include financial planners, advisors, or debt counselors who can help you close joint lines of credit and make sure that you divorce your partner financially as well as legally.
Dividing assets and debts in divorce can be complicated. It can get so complicated that some couples might think that taking their disagreements to court is the only way. The reality is that the collaborative divorce process offers a better path forward, where your collaborative divorce team in Tacoma, Washington can use conflict resolution strategies to help you divide assets and debts in a way that is fair. Couples who plan to take their divorce to court still often find themselves at the negotiation table through court ordered mediation. Few divorces are settled in court. Divorce can raise strong emotions like anger and resentment, but when it comes to making serious financial decisions, it is best to set anger and resentment aside so you can make sound financial plans.
The collaborative divorce lawyers in Tacoma, Washington at Truce Law are here to help you navigate the process and settle your divorce fairly and reasonably.
Benefits of Collaborative Divorce in Tacoma, Washington
Collaborative divorce can save you and your former partner time and money, while protecting your privacy and reducing stress. Rather than preparing for the conflict of court, you can invest your money into a strong collaborative divorce team that can include therapists, counselors, mental health professionals, financial advisors, and more, who can help you both start your single lives out on the right foot. There are other benefits of settling your divorce at the negotiating table rather than court. You can get divorced faster because you won’t be waiting for the court to have the time to hear your case. Your negotiations can be on your timelines, not a judge’s timeline. Finally, collaborative divorce protects your privacy because your divorce negotiations happen in private. When you take your divorce to court, your case is heard by a judge, and anything you say or do can end up on the public record.
Divorce is never easy, but collaborative divorce offers an easier, more peaceful way. Truce Law is a collaborative divorce law firm in Tacoma, Washington that uses conflict resolution and negotiation strategies to help couples settle their divorces without having to step foot inside a courtroom. Once you reach an agreement, we can file your divorce paperwork by mail or electronically, so you and your former spouse never have to wait months or a year for a court date. Avoid costly litigation, court dates, wasted money, wasted time, and stress. Contact a Tacoma, Washington collaborative divorce lawyer at Truce Law today.