Hello and Welcome.
I am an attorney practicing family law since 1993 in California, and now in Washington since 2008. Family law consists of Dissolution of Marriage, commonly called divorce, child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, commonly called alimony, parenting evaluations and parenting plans and division of property. Also included are domestic violence concerns, guardian ad litem and CASA reports, adoptions and guardianships.
The attorney you choose can make a difference. There are different ways to handle a case, either by adversarial means or by mediation. Mediation is a process, which the parties come to an agreement on all issues of the case. In mediation the attorney represents neither party. The mediator/attorney helps the parties with the legal theories of the case, and guiding the parties to coming to a full agreement. If there are issues that the parties cannot come to an agreement on, then each of the parties must either go to court on their own, or hire another attorney to represent them.
Collaborative law is also a form of mediation. Collaborative law allows each party to have an attorney to represent them, but the parties and their attorneys agree to settle the case in full without going to court. In collaborative law, other professionals, such as financial planners, counselors, and real estate agents agree to work on the case as needed by the parties. All parties agree that they will not go to court and if there are issues that cannot be settled, either another attorney or another professional will be used to settle this issue.
If the parties agree that mediation and collaboration is not feasible for their case, then an adversarial approach is taken to settle the case in the most expedited manner.
Whatever the manner that you choose to settle your case, I am here for you. I have vast experience in family law and will help you through this trying time with your unique family law issues.