Divorce Mediation & Arbitration Frequently Asked Questions
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny know you have questions about the divorce process. We provide answers to your most critical questions about mediation and arbitration. Whether you are involved in mediation or arbitration during your divorce process, we are here when you need us.
Do you have a question that isn't addressed below? Contact us today to talk to an experienced Seattle mediation & arbitration lawyer.
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What Are The Advantages and Disadvantages of Divorce Mediation?
If you choose mediation for your Washington divorce, you should be aware of the pros and cons to the mediation process so that you can assess whether mediation is the best choice for you.
Advantages of Divorce Mediation
While Washington State divorce mediation is not the ideal answer for all divorcing couples, many find that it has a number of distinct advantages over going to divorce court. First and foremost, medication is often significantly less expensive and faster than litigation. Secondly, mediation is a private and confidential process than can often be easier on a couple’s children. In addition, mediation has been shown to improve communication between ex-spouses in the years after a divorce. Finally, many people appreciate the amount of control they have in making their own decisions about property, child custody, and spousal support.
Disadvantages of Divorce Mediation
First and foremost, it is important to understand that mediation simply does not work for some couples. Couples who cannot find a way to communicate properly, compromise, and come up with an agreement regarding the division of property and a parenting plan will have to have a judge decide what is fair. When mediation fails, your divorce will return to the court system and you will likely lose time and money.
Secondly, mediation may cause the problems between you and your spouse to surface. Some couples divorce because of issues with communication, troubles with finances, or just because their personalities conflict. Divorce mediation requires that both partners are able to put aside feelings and work out the details of their divorce. This can be emotionally difficult—and sometimes prevents mediation from working at all.
Thirdly, both you and your spouse must be honest and trustworthy. Mediation requires both husband and wife to openly share the details of their financial lives, be honest about what they need and want, and to speak the truth. It is easier for a partner to hide assets during mediation or for the final settlement to favor one person over the other. If you or your partner does not completely adhere to the mediation process, it may not work well for you.
Contact Our Family Law Attorneys in Bellevue
Would you like legal guidance during your Washington divorce mediation? Contact the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny today to schedule an appointment with an attorney: 425-460-0550.
Will Washington Divorce Mediation Be A Faster Option?
While Washington State divorce mediation is usually a much faster process than traditional divorce, the exact length of the mediation process varies significantly by couple. Spouses who need more time to come to agreements may require more sessions than those who mostly agree with each other. Likewise, couples that need to make decisions regarding child custody or couples with more complex finances will face a longer mediation process than those who haven’t been married for very long or couples who do not have children. On average, however, mediation takes a shorter amount of time than a court divorce.
Is Mediation Only For Couples Going Through An Amicable Divorce?
It is a misconception that only the most amicable couples can successfully navigate the mediation process. While mediation does require that both parties be willing to talk through issues, listen, and eventually come to settlements, it does not require couples to “get along” or agree on every topic. In fact, mediators fully understand that couples that are divorcing will have arguments and disagreements during their split. A contentious couple may take longer to finish the mediation process, but it is certainly possible, especially with the help of a trained, neutral mediator to guide both people to a compromise or workable solution.
Can Mediation Make My Divorce Less Expensive?
Typically, choosing mediation over divorce litigation can save couples thousands of dollars each. Because mediation is usually a faster process that does not involve lengthy court appearances and fees, those choosing mediation can spend less money on their divorce – and usually reach an equally fair or better outcome. In most situations, the more willing both parties are to work out a solution, the faster and less expensive mediation is. Keep in mind, though, that having children or a complicated financial life will lengthen the mediation process.
Do I Need A Lawyer For Washington Divorce Mediation?
Although mediation does not absolutely require a lawyer, it is very important to have an advocate making certain that your rights are protected and that you receive what you legally deserve. A divorce mediation lawyer can both help you negotiate the terms of your agreement and read over the final agreement to make certain that the document is complete and fair under Washington State law. During the mediation process, the mediator will act as an unbiased and neutral party – your lawyer will be on your side to answer legal questions and clarify issues as you go. Mediators often either highly encourage that each participant hire a lawyer before entering the mediation process.