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Questions about a settlement conference in a divorce/custody battle.

Tacoma, WA |

i have a settlement conference coming up regarding my pending divorce/custody dispute. My husband no longer has an attorney and I am looking for one. My husband has refused mediation because he doesn't want to pay for it. He also refuses mediation because I want primary custody of my children. I don't think I will have a lawyer for this meeting. What do I need to bring to the settlement conference? What paperwork do I need to file (if any) prior to the meeting? Should I bring the emails in which my husband refuses to meet? The emails clearly show I gave several good faith efforts to mediate and he refused. Where can I find legal information online so I can be prepared with the correct paperwork/timelines? Thank you.

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Attorney answers 1


Mediation is a voluntary process. You cannot "make" him go unless your court requires mediation before it will finalize a divorce. Your court probably has a form for people to complete prior to a settlement conference that must be filed with the court and copies provided to the other side and the judge of the settlement conference. This document tells the court your side of the case, what you think is agreed and not agreed, and how you want the court to decide. The settlement conference is also not binding, so if you and the other party are not able to come to agreements, based on the settlement conference judge's recommendations, you and the other party will have to go to trial. You do not need a lawyer to go to the settlement conference or to trial, but it really helps!

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