No matter how strongly you feel about your ex, divorce does not need to be a contentious, protracted court battle. You will have the option in Washington state to file for an uncontested divorce. In an uncontested divorce, you and your ex agree to terms about issues like asset division and custody arrangements. The courts simply review the documents to ensure everything complies with state law and then finalize the end of your marriage.
You might think that if you don't agree with your ex about terms, then you can't file an uncontested divorce. However, mediation presents an opportunity to find workable solutions to the terms of your divorce and file for a faster and less expensive uncontested divorce.
The process of mediation can help you set your own terms for divorce
One of the most nerve-wracking aspects of divorce is the fact that you have no control over what the courts decide. The judge has total power about setting the terms for asset division and custody arrangements. When you go through mediation, you have more control over the outcome. You can fight for terms that matter the most to you and compromise on issues that are less important.
That control is only one of the many benefits of divorce mediation. Mediation allows you to file an uncontested divorce, which means the divorce proceedings will take less time. Less time in court means less expense for you. You'll have more assets to your name when you're ready to begin your fresh start after divorce.
Finally, mediation also protects your privacy. Anything you say in court will become part of the public record. In mediation, your discussions are confidential. So long as there isn't a history of abuse and you are both willing to compromise, mediation maybe the best way to handle your pending divorce.
Working with your own attorney protects your interests in an uncontested divorce
Just because you aren't intending to battle it out in court doesn't mean that you shouldn't have your own attorney. After all, your ex could still take advantage of you during the mediation proceedings. Having an attorney there to help you negotiate and fight for your own best interest is likely a good idea.
After all, once the courts finalize the divorce, you won't be able to go back and change the terms. While it is possible to modify a parenting plan, the asset division process is usually finished once the courts finalized the divorce. Having your own representation may make it easier to negotiate in mediation. It also helps prevent you from signing documents that will compromise your future.
If you are considering mediation or an uncontested divorce in Washington, you still need the protection and assistance of someone who understands the family law system.