Our commitment at Northwest Family Mediation is to help you and your family avoid costly and emotional court proceedings and develop a workable, practical arrangement for your family’s transition in a cooperative, non-adversarial environment.
Our goal with this blog is to offer information and insights that support our clients in this transition.
Many couples who are interested in mediation want to avoid working with attorneys. After having represented many clients in divorce, I believe that it is very important to understand the legal rights and obligations imposed on both spouses by virtue of their marriage or when they have a child in common. The best way to understand those rights and obligations, before you agree to forego or forgive them is to speak to an attorney. In Washington, attorney mediators are not allowed to offer legal advice to their clients, they may only talk about the law generally. As part of the mediation process, spouses can agree about when they will work with attorneys.
When you consult with an attorney and you understand what is at stake, you can enter a final negotiation and make an informed agreement. This is a better alternative to making agreements that are subject to review by an attorney who might point out all shortcomings of your agreement and advise you not to make the agreement final. Moreover, I find a common source of impasse in mediation is one or both spouses not understanding the legal implications of the process.
I refer my clients to attorneys who offer consulting services so my clients can make informed, durable agreements.