Divorce Litigation

One of the most difficult decisions people face during a dissolution is if they’ll resolve their issues either through meditation or litigation While most couples choose a collaborative divorce path utilizing methods such as mediation, there are still situations in which litigation may be necessary and perhaps, more appropriate.

If you and your spouse are filing a divorce, you may already know which divorce path you want to pursue. However, it’s important to note that even in the best-case scenario, any dissolution of marriage can become aggressive and tense over issues such as child support, custody, and alimony. This is why it’s best to avoid making a final decision until after consulting a seasoned legal professional in Washington. 

Seattle Divorce Litigation Lawyer, WA | King County & Snohomish County 

At Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson, our Washington divorce attorneys understand that when you share your life with someone for so many years, it can be hard to file for a dissolution of marriage. The process can be stressful and filled with tension. If you are having a difficult time determining how to proceed with your divorce, either through mediation or litigation, our skilled family law firm can help. 

Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson services clients in in Seattle, Washington including nearby communities such as Redmond, Issaquah, Mercer Island, Bellevue, Kenmore, Woodinville, Renton, Tukwila, White Center, and SeaTac. You are not alone. Call (206) 712-2756 as soon as possible to discover how we can assist you in protecting your rights.


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Information Center


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What is Divorce Litigation?

Litigation refers to the process of using family court if you and your spouse cannot mutually agree on the terms of your divorce. Common disagreements in a decree may involve matters of child custody, child visitation rights, division of assets or debts alimony, and more. 

There are pros and cons to choosing litigation over mediation when deciding to end your marriage. Some disadvantages of choosing litigation over mediation include:

  • Lack of privacy – Your personal information and public records may be available for anyone to view on the Internet.
  • Lack of control – Every disagreement within the divorce will be decided by a judge or commissioner. In a divorce litigation, you are no longer in control.
  • Timing – Unfortunately, the process can take longer. Decisions may be postponed by the court if the case is handled on different calendar days.

It’s also important to note that although divorce litigation has a couple of drawbacks, it also has some advantages over mediation. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Assets – If a spouse is hiding assets, divorce litigation can require disclosure of all financial information.
  • Non-communication with spouse – Not having to communicate with your spouse during the divorce process can be beneficial if it a highly contentious divorce or if there was any domestic violence/abuse between parties.
  • Fair ruling – If your spouse is refusing to compromise on good terms, a litigated divorce can help to ensure there is a fair ruling for you and the children. The court can make sure you are not left disadvantaged.

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Divorce Mediation in Washington

Divorce mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that encourages parties to resolve their family law issues without the intervention of a Washington judge. Rather than submitting disputes to the family court, you and your spouse can meet with a trained mediator to discuss the issues in your divorce. 

Mediators don’t finalize decisions or offer legal advice, but they do serve as facilitators to help both parties in a divorce amicably resolve their outstanding disputes. Mediation sessions may take place in an informal office setting versus a courthouse. Mediating your divorce also has additional advantages over litigating it such as: 

  • Less cost
  • More confidentiality
  • More freedom
  • More control
  • More communication

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Additional Resources

Washington Courts: Divorce Litigation – Click the link to visit the official website for Washington Courts and view court forms regarding divorce. You can view Petition for Divorce (Dissolution), Confidential Information, Proof of Personal Service, and Certificate of Dissolution.

Washington Courts: Family Law Handbook – Access the Washington Courts website to view the Family Law Handbook. The PDF discusses the legal implications of marriage and divorce in the State of Washington. Click the link to read about ending a marriage, property rights, spousal maintenance, parenting plans, and relocation of children.


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Seattle Divorce Litigation Attorney, Washington 

If you are considering litigation as a means of resolving complex dissolution issues such as child support, alimony, and division of assets, it is important to have an experienced family law attorney on your side. At Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson, our Seattle divorce litigation attorneys have over 20 years of experience helping divorcing couples resolve their family law issues. 

Divorce isn’t easy but we can help make the process smoother. With our guidance, we can help you plan every step thoughtfully. Call (206) 712-2756 to schedule your first consultation. Our family law firm accepts clients throughout the State of Washington including King County, Snohomish County, Kitsap County, Pierce County, and Kittitas County.


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