You may need Divorce Mediation if:
You’re ready to discuss important financial and family issues, but would like an unbiased person to help you work through the details and any sticking points.
Benefits of using mediation as a solution:
Mediation is a confidential process. Not only does it take place in private, but your discussions can’t be later used in court.
We charge an hourly rate for mediation and limit sessions to three hours in order to maximize results and control costs.
Leaving major family decisions to the court can make you feel helpless. With divorce mediation you decide the outcome.
About the process
What is divorce mediation?
Divorce mediation takes place when a neutral individual helps a couple discuss undecided divorce issues. Change is hard. Mediation gives partners the opportunity to work out their differences and know that they both did their best to understand and to be fair to the other side. It also allows both parties to feel more positive about the end of their relationship.
How does divorce mediation work?
The mediation process begins with a quick confirmation that both you and spouse are ready to participate and hoping to reach an agreement. In order to discuss the issues, it’s important to have a complete list of finances and important parenting details. In order to ensure we have the proper information at mediation day we’ll email a questionnaire that you’ll complete prior to the session.
“People that mediate within the first thirty days of a conflict end up resolving their issues in less time and typically spend less money than those who put it off. Through mediation I’ve seen entire divorces completed without anyone ever setting foot in a courtroom.”
Depending on your situation we prefer one of two mediation styles, facilitative or evaluative. A facilitative mediation takes place with everyone present in the same room. The mediators role is to guide the conversation, so the participants work together to create their own solutions.
An evaluative mediator takes more control of the solutions. Often parties are in different rooms and the mediator goes back and forth between the two. The role of the mediator is to act as an expert and provide suggestions based on their experience and legal expertise.
In the majority of our mediations each spouse will pay $525. However, your cost to mediate will depend on how much time you need to mediate. We find that early in the divorce process mediation more than pays for itself when compared to the legal fees that could be spent to resolve the same issues.
In addition to the mediation, additional services can be added on depending on the needs of the family. This often includes services like drafting settlement agreements, quit claim deeds or parenting plans. We typically charge an hourly rate of $350 for document drafting, but also offer flat rates for specific services.
How to prepare for divorce mediation, a divorce mediation checklist.
The most important thing you can do to prepare for divorce mediation is to gather information. You should know things like your current credit card debt, the value of your home, and the cost of private school for your son. Information like this is necessary to make big decisions and without it mediation is less likely to be successful.
Here is a checklist of items to bring for divorce mediation:
1) Real property (i.e. homes, land, rental properties): Make sure to know the current mortgage balance and the current market value.
2) Vehicles (i.e. cars, boats, rvs): Find the current value of the vehicles and the balance of any loans.
3) Bank, Retirement & Investment Accounts: List account values, name of financial institution and last four digits of the account.
4) Credit Cards: Understand the amount of debt, creditor name, last four digits of the account, date the credit card was opened and when the transactions occured.
5) Other major assets (i.e. collectibles, electronics, art): List of major assets, which could be sold for over $1500 along with the date the property was acquired.
6) Other major debts (i.e. student loans, home equity lines of credit): Total amount of debt and when the debt was taken out.
7) Businesses, Partnership and Stock Options: Value of your interest in any business that you own or are a part of. Additionally, value of any stock option that you hold.
1) Child related costs (i.e. daycare, school, health insurance, extracurriculars, etc.): List the monthly costs for common expenses that you pay today and expect to pay in the future.
2) School Schedules: Write down your child’s weekly schedule, including schooling and activities. Consider what parenting schedule would be best and what activities and programs they will be involved in down the road.
3) Summer & Holiday Schedules: Make a list of holidays plans that are important to you and think about what parenting should look like in the summer.
4) Monthly income of parents: Your most recent tax returns, W-2s and 1099s can be used to calculate child support.
If you’re successful in mediation it only takes a few steps to finalize the divorce.
First, the agreement needs to be put in writing. Most people prefer to use a separation contract to cover the major financial issues. The best part about a separation contract is that it won’t be filed with the court, so your personal information is kept private. If there are children, a parenting plan and child support order will also be prepared.
Second, once the paperwork is ready, you’ll have the opportunity to review the documents with an attorney. It’s important that you feel confident in the settlement you’ve reached. An attorney can give you that peace of mind and make suggestions that will enhance the agreement.
Third, the paperwork will be filed with the court. This might be done by mail or at your local courthouse. The judge will review the paperwork and sign off on the forms, which finalizes the agreement.
Last, you may need to take steps to carry out the contract. For example, you might need to sign a quit claim deed to transfer ownership of a home. The timing and details of those tasks will be included in the separation contract.
Is divorce mediation right for you?
Take the quiz to see if working with a divorce mediator is a good option.
WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Responsive + Helpful
“Always responsive, answers all questions without hesitation, helpful and kind. Glad I could have such a well educated attorney to help me with my legal needs.”
Tiffany B. | Yelm, WA
Above + Beyond
“I could not have made a better choice in attorneys than Justin of Truce Law. The direct one-on-one help and willingness to work with me off-hours when I needed it was really above and beyond.”
Doug L. | Puyallup, WA
Available + Empathetic
“Professional, available, empathetic, and honest. He provided excellent advice, processed three quit claims, reviewed a QDRO, a separation agreement (discovering in the process a major accounting error as well as missing real estate property)”
Russ F. | Seattle, WA
Thorough + Attentive
“Remarkably thorough in his approach to the law. He is attentive to detail, thoughtful and very personable. I recommend him and his legal expertise to anyone hoping for a measured and thoughtful outcome.”
Cynthia D. | Bothell, WA
Prompt + Knowledgeable
“Justin made the stressful and difficult divorce process much easier. He was professional, prompt, and knowledgeable. I recommend him if you are in need of a divorce settlement lawyer.”
Adam R. | Seattle, WA
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