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Seattle Family Law Mediation Services

Trusted and Resourceful Mediation Professionals

Mediation is a powerful tool that allows you to maintain control over the process and the outcome of your divorce or other family law dispute. McKinley Irvin offers flexible scheduling for mediations to accommodate parties with urgent needs.

Laura Sell is the Law Practice Managing Partner at McKinley Irvin and a family law mediator. She has a holistic knowledge of family conflicts and a deep understanding of the legal, financial and emotional elements of divorce. Her extensive experience as a family lawyer and civil litigator also allows her to mediate cases that involve complex legal and financial issues.

“My work as a mediator and attorney go hand-in-hand,” says Laura. “They’ve both taught me to listen. People often know what is fair and what will work for their family, but need help visualizing practical solutions. As a mediator, I am there to see the things they cannot and to work with both sides to reach an agreement that is both balanced and viable.”

Laura enjoys helping people assess their needs, priorities, and motivations, while providing the benefit of her experience both as a practicing family lawyer and experienced mediator. She is dedicated to facilitating people toward an equitable, practical, and stable agreement that ultimately brings closure to litigation.

What are the Advantages of Mediation?

Compared to traditional litigation, settling a divorce or family law dispute through mediation is:

  • Flexible – Mediation can address one or more issues in dispute and can take place before and/or after a petition is filed with the court.
  • Private – Mediation is conducted outside of court and off the record.
  • Non-Adversarial – Both sides work cooperatively to determine the best result for everyone.
  • Self-Directed – You maintain control of the process (not the court) and create your own solutions.
  • Neutral – Your mediator is an experienced unbiased professional focused on facilitating a mutually agreeable resolution.
  • Healthy – Mediation promotes better communication, stronger relationships and improved parenting.
  • Durable – Privately mediated agreements allow the parties to take ownership of the outcome thereby resulting in greater long-term satisfaction.
  • Economical – Reaching a settlement outside of court can lower legal costs.
  • Mandatory – Upon filing a petition with the court, parties are required to attempt alternative dispute resolution to resolve their case. Mediation fulfills that requirement.

If you are seeking a resolution of the issues at stake, mediation provides an excellent and cost effective environment in which to formulate a practical and lasting arrangement that works for you and your family. This approach provides privacy and flexibility that you cannot get in court. By turning over the power to resolve your case to the court, you give up the ability to reach an agreement which takes into account your unique needs, goals and values.

How Does Family Law Mediation Work?

Mediation enables parties to represent their individual interests while working toward a place of compromise. In this environment, each party occupies a private meeting space with his or her attorney. Both parties have the benefit of confidential discussions with their lawyers and any other professionals they wish to have present or consult with. The mediator is a neutral facilitator of negotiations, who engages in “shuttle diplomacy” by moving between rooms to guide the parties toward a workable settlement using creative and sensible solutions. The goal of mediation is to reach a mutually beneficial settlement which is reduced to writing and may be presented to court in lieu of trial.

Mediation can take place at any stage in the litigation process (or prior to the litigation process) and any number of disputed issues can be addressed and resolved. It is common for parties to address a significant issue, such as temporary orders or a final parenting plan, in a stand-alone session and return at a later date to address the remaining issues. The entire process is collaborative and nothing is decided without consensus from both parties. Mediation is a safe and confidential atmosphere, in which nothing discussed can be used in court.

Alternative Dispute Resolution Requirement in King County

King County requires that all individuals filing family law cases participate in a form of Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) before proceeding with trial. Mediation both satisfies this requirement and can produce a more satisfying result for you and your spouse.

Types of Disputes

Our mediators can guide you in reconciling family law disputes pertaining to:

Mediation at McKinley Irvin’s Downtown Seattle Office

McKinley Irvin is pleased to offer:

  • Flexible scheduling - Mediation inquiries are available on short notice.
  • A central location - Located in the heart of Downtown Seattle across from Westlake Park in the Century Square building.
  • Convenient parking - Covered parking is accessible underneath the Century Square building and there are several garages nearby.
  • A comfortable working environment - Fully appointed, private meeting rooms.
  • Access to amenities - Wifi, printing, and beverages are available.

Call to Reserve a Mediation Session

Mediation dates are available on a first come, first serve basis and must be confirmed by our Client Services Department. Dates on the calendar are not guaranteed to be available. For further information about scheduling a mediation in our Seattle office, please call our Client Services Department at (206) 625-9600 or submit an online contact form.

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