Mediation is one of the least complicated ways to resolve family disputes because parties rather than courts control the process and agree to the resolution. in Washington it is governed by the Uniform Mediation Act (RCW 7.07 ). Mediation can be by lawyers or non lawyers. The negotiations are considered to be confidential.
Mediation does not work for everyone. It requires trust and honesty and parties who have worked through enough of their negative feelings to negotiate in good faith. If you and your spouse or partner have agreed to end your relationship, then mediation may help resolve the remaining issues. Mediation requires your agreement. No one will decide an issue for you. Mediation can improve your capacity to make decisions with your spouse or partner in the future so it is favored by parents who share the need to work together on future child-raising issues.
In mediation we meet with both clients and work together on the issues. Parties share the cost of one mediator instead of using two lawyers to negotiate on their behalf. Clients like that they can control the pace of the case resolution instead of having to follow the pre-set court schedule. The mediator cannot be the lawyer for any party. It is very important to have the final agreement reviewed by a lawyer so you fully understand the legal effect of the agreement before you sign it.
We also provide issue mediation for clients represented by counsel. This mediation may focus on specific issues such as discovery or parenting or maintenance or support. If counsel cannot resolve a difference, using a mediator can be a good investment before facing the cost of taking the issue to Court.