Dispute Resolution Center of King County Programs
The Dispute Resolution Center provides a number of conflict resolution services including mediation, conflict coaching, group services and training. Mediators are provided at all of the small claims courts in King County each day so that parties have an opportunity to try mediation at the court house on the day of their hearing. Mediation allows for more flexible agreements and is confidential, unlike court. If the parties don't reach agreement during the mediation, they can still have their case heard by the Judge the same day.
The DRC also offers low-cost face-to-face mediation at our offices in Seattle and Federal Way by appointment. Our mediators will facilitate a 3-hour session, which helps the parties talk through their problems in a fair, civil, and safe way so that they can find a solution that works for both of them.
The DRC now offers family and divorce mediation. This specialized service allows separating parents to design a parenting plan and address asset division in a safe environment where they can process some of the emotion that goes along with dissolving a family. Mediation encourages the participants to focus on the best solution for the children.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
The DRC is excited to offer a new family mediation service to respond to the needs of divorcing families in King County. The circumstances that tear families apart are not always easily addressed in a court room, and litigated divorces can be very expensive. Family mediation allows the participants to address the issues in a less adversarial atmosphere where the focus can be on the needs of the children. Mediation helps the parents find solutions they can live with and can help to repair communication so that things can move forward. This new program is the only low-cost option for financial settlements available to divorcing couples that file for divorce in Superior Court.
Dispute Resolution Centers are mandated by law to provide free or low-cost services and the true cost of providing service is relatively high, especially for family cases. The DRC would welcome additional financial support from the community for our new family mediation program. Mediation has the potential to shift our cultural approach to conflict and is one of the best ways to handle family dissolutions. The DRC in King County is an efficient and effective business which has the potential to act as a model for other programs throughout the State. Mediation works - people who mediate are twice as likely to keep their agreements as those who litigate and mediation saves courts, complaint departments, and law enforcement money when cases are referred to the DRC. The Dispute Resolution Center is a good value and good community resource and we would appreciate your support.