Family law cases are inherently stressful. The parties may feel anger, sadness, grief, disillusionment, or any other mixture of emotions. Going to court only adds to this stress and should be the last resort when other methods of compromise have been unsuccessful. Washington family law, in most cases, requires a good-faith settlement attempt at mediation prior to court resolution or trial.
Mediation is the best and most cost-effective informal way to reach a resolution on contested issues. Many spouses believe that if they are unable to reach an agreement between themselves, mediation will not work. But this is not always true. The mediator is a neutral third-party who provides many other reasonable options that individuals may not have considered previously. The mediator does not make any decisions or provide legal advice; they merely assist with conflict resolution and settlement negotiation. Each party is present with their respective attorneys to provide specific advice on your rights. If a settlement is reached, the parties sign a document to memorialize their agreements, and the attorneys draft the necessary paperwork to finalize.