Collaborative Divorce Attorney in Washington State

What is Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce is for couples who wish to dissolve their marriage in a respectful and amicable way. The process helps couples reach agreements on all aspects of their divorce, including division of property, spousal support, and child custody arrangements. 

In the collaborative divorce process, each spouse works with their own lawyer to negotiate an agreement that works best for both parties. Unlike traditional divorce methods, collaborative divorce does not involve litigation or court appearances; instead, it relies on open communication between spouses and lawyers to facilitate a fair settlement. 

By utilizing this method, couples can avoid the emotional stress and financial costs associated with litigated divorce proceedings.

Simply put, a collaborative divorce is a negotiation that takes place in private between spouses and their attorneys, often with the help of neutral experts, such as financial advisors or child specialists.

The attorneys work individually with their client and assist with negotiations, which are done in a group setting with everyone present. Experts are used to provide unbiased assistance with specialized issues.

In 2013, Governor Jay Inslee signed the Uniform Collaborative Law Act. This means that unlike other divorce processes, Collaborative Divorce gives participants unique legal protections established in Washington law.

A unique element of this process is the attorneys sign a participation agreement, which includes a clause stating they are barred from taking the case to trial. The agreement ensures that the attorneys make every effort to resolve the case within the collaborative model

Why Collaborative Divorce can be the Best Option

The divorce process can be extremely difficult and emotionally draining for both spouses. Traditional court-based divorce proceedings often involve litigation, which can lead to deep animosity between the two parties and long periods of negotiation. 

For couples who want an amicable resolution to their divorce, collaborative divorce offers a viable alternative. This method is based on cooperation rather than conflict; the parties involved work with their collaborative divorce lawyers to reach an agreement that works for them both.

Justin W. Aanenson, Attorney

Want to Save Time and Keep Control of Your Divorce?

Major Benefits of Collaborative Divorce

This unique process allows you to:

Maintain Privacy

Confidential negotiations are held in private and settled without any public court hearings. The key difference between this process and traditional litigation is that all meetings take place outside of the courtroom, allowing participants more privacy throughout the process.

Know the Cost

Divorce proceedings in court often require costly attorney fees and lengthy legal processes that can overwhelm both parties. Costs in collaborative divorce are more predictable than litigation, as you can more easily predict the length of discussions based on the issues that need to be resolved, saving you from the stress of unknown legal fees.

Keep Control

Families feel powerless leaving decisions to a court. With this process, you decide the outcome. Furthermore, since the couples are in charge of their own agreement, decisions can be made much faster.

Break Up Without Breaking Down

Collaborative divorce service areas

We’re here to support you with a range of legal services that you and your family may need.

What to expect from Collaborative Divorce

Common questions about the collaborative divorce process

If a person has a felony conviction for child abuse or neglect, spousal abuse, a crime against a child, or a crime involving violence they are permanently disqualified.

Similarly, a person will not pass the home study if they’ve been convicted of a physical assault, sex offense, or a felony not listed above in the past five years.

One of the strengths of the collaborative divorce is that agreements tend to last. Since parenting decisions are made together, parents feel a sense of ownership of the agreement. That’s not the case if a judge determines custody for you. This sense of ownership, leads to higher satisfaction with the arrangement and more stability.


A stable home environment has been shown to benefit children. For example, a study which appeared in the Journal of Marriage and Family by Ohio State researchers, showed that children in a stable family situation after divorce were measurably more successful than those children who lived in unstable families after divorce. When measured at age 26, children from stable divorced families achieved more academically, earned higher incomes and had higher occupational prestige.


In addition, child specialists are available to help create a future that is healthy and stable for the child. A child specialist is a certified mental health professional with expertise in child development and collaborative divorce. The goal of a specialist is to give the child a voice, while shielding them from direct involvement in the divorce.

In most cases a collaborative divorce will take between three and six months. Often three to six group sessions are scheduled to address specific issues. In between meetings, participants will accomplish various tasks to address items that came up in discussion and to prepare for the next meeting. Conversations during a session can be intense, so we prefer to limit meetings to three hours. Generally, our clients get the most out of multiple short meetings opposed to say, an all day session. Once we’ve had a chance to cover all the meaningful issues finalizing the paperwork should take a week or two.
In all Washington divorces, the court requires a case to sit for 90 days before it can be reviewed by a judge. Because of the mandatory waiting period, three months is the minimum amount of time to resolve a case.

We service clients all across Washington including places such as: Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Shoreline, Edmonds, Lynnwood, Renton, Lakewood, Federal Way, Tumwater, Lacey and South Bay.

Our three offices are located in Seattle, Olympia & Tacoma.

Testimonials & reviews

A family law firm that often settles out of court with "win, win" solutions for all involved. Resolve the matter instead of fighting in court where only the lawyers win.
Kate Winterbottom
Kate Winterbottom
Justin, the owner of Truce Law, is truly exceptional in every sense. His unwavering dedication to customer satisfaction and employee success sets him apart as a leader in the legal community. Justin goes above and beyond to ensure that each client receives personalized attention and support throughout the divorce or adoption process. His expertise in family law combined with his genuine empathy and understanding make him a trusted advocate for those navigating difficult life transitions. I would not hesitate to refer clients to Justin. Moreover, Justin's commitment to employee success is evident in the positive and supportive work environment he cultivates at Truce Law. By prioritizing the well-being and professional growth of his team, Justin ensures that every member is equipped to deliver exceptional service to clients. I have full confidence in Justin and his team to handle even the most complex family law matters with integrity, compassion, and skill. If you're seeking legal assistance for divorce or adoption, look no further than Justin and Truce Law. You'll be in the best hands possible.
Jeff Bloomfield
Jeff Bloomfield
The team at Truce Law are conscientious and dedicated to truly serving their clients well. I would not hesitate to recommend Truce Law for your Family Law Needs.
Dan Peterson
Dan Peterson
Breaking up is hard. I was an emotional wreck at times. The staff at Truce Law was compassionate and patient; they walked me through it. My opponent was vicious. Truce handled the negotiations with strength, competence, and dignity. Look no further.
David Singleton
David Singleton
Truce Law is simply the best! Divorce is never easy for anyone but having them on your side makes it a whole lot easier! The team was always prompt, communicative and always had my best interests in mind. 10/10!
Stefanie Arnold
Stefanie Arnold
Justin and staff were a great resource through my divorce, highly recommended
Hristiyan Kolev
Hristiyan Kolev
First of all I would like to thank to Justin for his great work! My case was not easy (don’t want to use the word ugly), but thanks to Justin and his team I manage to win the case and being able to be with my child once again which was the goal from the beginning. The process of the divorce took more than a year and he and his team were with me the whole time. Very patient, persistent and knowledgeable. I will always recommend his service. Good luck to everyone out there.
Russ Krause
Russ Krause
If you are looking for a friendly and knowledgeable as well as highly skilled legal team to help you through those family law issues that come up in life, then Truce Law is the place! Competent and friendly staff at all levels puts you at ease. Their rates are very competitive and they are always in communication with you to keep you on top of what they are doing. I highly recommend them to you.
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