Family Law

Divorce Mediation

Mediation is an out-of-court process in which the parties and their attorneys work with a mediator to reach a final settlement agreement. The mediator is a third-party neutral who has experience in family law and can facilitate negotiations between the parties on all issues, including division of assets, spousal maintenance, and parenting. Mediation is an effective tool for helping parties agree on a legally enforceable settlement and avoid the time, expense and emotional toll of trial. Courts in King County generally require parties to participate in mediation or another alternative dispute resolution process before trial.

Today, mediation can take place either on Zoom or in person. The mediator starts by meeting with each party and their attorney separately from the other party and goes back and forth between the parties’ room throughout the day. The parties typically do not communicate with each other directly. Once a party is ready to make an offer, the mediator takes it to the other side, who then has the opportunity to consider it and present a counteroffer. This process continues until the parties agree on a final settlement.

To prepare for mediation, each party typically writes a letter to the mediator containing background information and outlining their position and its legal basis. Depending on the issues, the parties may also be expected to provide a summary of their assets and liabilities, a financial declaration, a proposed parenting plan, and any other materials requested by the mediator.

At Lasher Holzapfel Sperry & Ebberson, our family law attorneys are skilled at preparing clients for mediation and advocating on their behalf to achieve a favorable settlement. We have a depth and breadth of experience negotiating all key issues in divorce, from complex division of assets to high conflict parenting disputes. In addition, our litigation expertise enables us to think strategically about possible outcomes and how to achieve one beneficial to you. If you have questions about divorce, please reach out to one of our Family Law Practice Group team members.