When most people think of the divorce process, they picture traditional, litigated divorce in a courtroom. The process is adversarial, and each issue that cannot be negotiated is argued in front of a judge to decide who gets what in the divorce. However, there are alternative dispute resolution methods available for couples navigating a divorce that allows them to avoid a messy trial. At the Hodgson Law Office in Spokane, our team of knowledgeable divorce attorneys is here to advise you on the best methods for settling your Washington divorce. Call or contact our office today to schedule a consultation.
Divorce mediation is an alternative dispute resolution method that utilizes a neutral third party, known as a mediator, to help settle all unresolved issues in a divorce. The process takes place outside of the traditional courtroom and consists of the couple, their attorneys, and the mediator. After discussing what issues are most important to each spouse, the mediator begins the process of going back and forth between the couple, suggesting compromises and solutions to their issues that fit their unique circumstances in order to develop a final divorce settlement that meets everyone’s needs.
Two of the main benefits of divorce mediation are that the process is typically cheaper and faster than traditional divorce. The process is also more amicable, as the focus is on compromise and not pitting each spouse against each other like traditional, litigated divorce.
Please note that our office works with a select few trusted mediators to ensure that the time spent in mediation is not wasted. Most mediations occur with the parties in separate rooms to ensure a smooth and helpful process that is not based on personal attacks or aggression. Furthermore, during COVID-19, virtually all mediations are occurring via Zoom and by telephone to minimize exposure.
Another alternative dispute resolution method is the process of collaborative divorce. Collaborative divorce is a team approach to resolving issues such as property distribution, spousal support, child custody, and child support in a manner that is communicative and win-win for both parties. This process uses lawyers that are trained in collaborative divorce methods, and each spouse signs an agreement prior to beginning that states they will be honest, transparent, and forthcoming throughout the process. Collaborative divorce uses a team approach that consists of the spouses, their attorneys, and a host of other professionals to help them settle the terms of their divorce, including financial advisors, child psychiatrists, psychologists, accountants, and others.
Collaborative divorce also has many benefits over traditional litigated divorce, and this method is particularly useful to couples that have one or more children because they will need to continue to communicate with each other after the divorce is finalized. Collaborative divorce encourages positive communication techniques that can continue between former spouses after the divorce is final. This method of alternative dispute resolution is also usually faster and cheaper than traditional divorce in court, as the process can happen on the couple’s own schedule and not the court’s.
If you are interested in learning more about alternative dispute resolution methods such as divorce mediation or collaborative divorce for your Washington divorce case, call the office or contact us today at Hodgson Law Office to schedule a case evaluation with one of our experienced Spokane divorce attorneys now.