There must be better ways to get divorced than fighting it out in court, right? Yes, there are! As a seasoned trial attorney, I prefer helping people solve their own problems through mediation. If you want a judge to decide your divorce, I wish you all the best.As a mediator certified through Washington Mediation Association (WMAC) and Thurston County Dispute Resolution Center, I am trained to mediate all or parts of divorce with four different types of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) options. These kinder, gentler, more humane ways for divorcing families seeking help to restructure range from simple to complex. One of them might be right for you.

The first two forms are well-known, short-term mediations, typically related to ongoing litigation, and take from 2-to-8 hours. The other two (Mediated Divorce and Collaborative Divorce) are “new”, lengthy and more involved mediation divorce options. Each has their own strengths, their own times and places. The first three models have substantial similarities, and the lines of differentiation can be blurred.

The first two traditional mediation models are typically “one and done” models, and can apply to any type of case, be it divorce, personal injury, property damage, consumer protection, etc. Often happening as part of litigation, they are:

A. 2-4 Hour Mediation; and
B. 4-8 Hour Private Settlement Conference (SC) for court cases. The other two are completely mediated divorces, start to finish, with the goal of creating a complete packet of stipulated divorce paperwork to submit for a judge’s approval. These lengthier models anticipate multiple mediation sessions. They have much in common with each other yet are significantly different.

C. Mediated Divorce (MD): fully mediated divorce, start to finish; and
D. Collaborative Divorce (CD)

A mediator’s role is very different from an attorney advocate’s role. To understand the difference between an attorney giving “legal information” and “legal advice”, see What Is an Independent, Third Party Neutral?

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Mediated Divorce

It’s an innovative, creative way to make divorce more peaceful and less expensive.