Although Washington state divorce laws govern the legal process of divorce, each county can also set their own ordnances. This includes whether mediation is required. If you're thinking about filing for divorce in Snohomish County, you may be wondering whether mediation is required as part of the divorce process. The answer is yes, mediation is required in Snohomish County.
Although this may seem like just one more long, drawn-out step that you don't want to take to end your marriage, yet divorce mediation can often be beneficial. In this blog post, you'll learn:
- What is divorce mediation?
- How does divorce mediation work?
- Some of the benefits of mediation in divorce
- What happens if divorce mediation is unsuccessful?
This blog post is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not and should not be taken as legal advice. Only a licensed attorney can provide you with legal advice. The Law Offices of Alesha Struthers provides free initial consultations. Alesha Struthers is also a certified mediator. If you're filing for divorce or have questions about divorce mediation in Snohomish County, schedule your free consultation with the Law Offices of Alesha Struthers now!
We understand why divorce mediation can cause you anxiety. With a better understanding of divorce mediation in Snohomish County divorces, it is our hope that by providing you with this basic knowledge regarding divorce mediation that you will be more comfortable.
What Is Divorce Mediation?
You know that divorce is a legal process that ends a marriage. It's also an emotional process. Let's start with a secondary question. What is mediation? Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. It is a process where a third-party who is known as a mediator helps the parties work through their issues. The parties can decide whether they want to have a lawyer with them. If they can reach an agreement, they can present it to the judge.
Therefore, divorce mediation is the mediation process between divorcing spouses. A mediator works with them to try and settle the issues that they disagree over so that they can get through the divorce process. In Snohomish County, divorce mediation is required even if you do not think that you and your ex-spouse can get through the process successfully.
Related: Snohomish County Divorce Process: What’s It Like?
How Does Divorce Mediation Work?
You and your ex-spouse meet with the mediator at the chosen time and place. You may also decide to bring your divorce lawyer with you. If you have an attorney, you may want to do this because the mediator cannot give you legal advice if a settlement offer is made even if the mediator is an attorney.
During the divorce mediation process, you, your ex-spouse, and the mediator discuss the issues in the divorce where you disagree. The goal is to come to a resolution. If you can, it is reduced to writing and signed.
Benefits of Mediation in Divorce
There are several benefits of mediation in divorces filed in Snohomish County. It's important to discuss these benefits because many people view the fact that there is a mediation requirement as just one more bump in the road toward getting their divorce. Yet, divorce mediation in Snohomish County can actually be highly beneficial.
- The opportunity to settle any issues could mean less time in Snohomish County court
- Settling your issues early and less time fighting in court could mean you spend less money in attorney fees
- Coming to an agreement with your ex-spouse without spending time fighting in court could mean less stress for you
- Mediation is more convenient since you get to choose your mediator and often get to choose your date and time
- Mediation is confidential while divorce hearings are public
- You have the opportunity to produce an offer and a counter-offer, unlike if a judge make a decision
There are many wonderful benefits that come with divorce mediation. It really isn't just “one more thing” the court is doing to make you wait to get a divorce. In fact, if you and your ex share a minor child, you can even discuss your parenting plan, child support, and child visitation to reach an agreement.
What Happens If Divorce Mediation Is Unsuccessful?
The requirement in Snohomish County is only that you must go to divorce mediation. Divorce mediation isn't always successful. Sometimes only one of several issues is solved. Sometimes none of the issues are solved. What happens?
The issues that are not resolved are presented to the judge at trial. The judge will hear testimony and, if necessary, look at evidence. Then, the judge will decide each unresolved issue. Once the decision is made by the judge and the order is signed, there are only limited circumstances when it may be changed.
Free Consultation: Snohomish County Divorce & Mediation
Snohomish County divorce mediation is an opportunity for you to resolve issues before going to court. We understand that the process of divorce and even mediation can be scary. The Law Offices of Alesha Struthers provides free consultations. Alesha Struthers is also a certified mediator. To learn more about our services, schedule your free consultation now!
Disclaimer: This publication is not legal advice. It is intended as legal information only. For legal advice specific to your needs, contact the Law Offices of Alesha Struthers, PS at 800-972-0411.
Posted February 2022.