LFLR 16. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
Local Family Law Rule
(a) Alternative Dispute Resolution Required. Except in cases involving domestic violence, child support only modifications (RCW 26.09.175), or where waived by a court order, the parties in every case shall participate in a settlement conference, mediation or other alternative dispute resolution process conducted by a neutral third person no later than thirty (30) days before trial.
(b) Attendance at the Alternative Dispute Resolution Proceeding. All parties and their attorneys, if any, shall personally attend and participate in all alternative resolution proceedings and shall come prepared to discuss all unresolved issues.
(c) Required materials. Proposed final orders, a financial declaration and, if parenting is at issue, a proposed parenting plan, as well as any other materials requested by the neutral third person must be provided to the neutral third person and all parties no later than two (2) working days before the day scheduled for the conference. The materials are not to be filed with the Clerk. When the division of property or debt is at issue, the parties shall provide a table listing all their property and debt substantially the following format:
|Description of Property||Community or Separate?
||Gross and Net value
||Amount owed/Cost of Sale||Award to husband or wife?|
|Description of Debt||Community or Separate?||Amount owing||Post-Separation?||Award to husband or wife?|
Totals: Property to Wife $______________
Property to Husband $______________
Debt to Wife $______________
Debt to Husband $______________
Other Requests: ___________________________
The above property and debt distribution is proposed by: ____________
Signature: ________________ Date: _____________________________
(d) Duty of good faith. Each party is under an obligation to act in good faith in an attempt to resolve the issues without the need for trial. Failure to act in good faith or failure to abide by the provisions of this rule may result in the imposition of sanctions by the assigned judge.
(e) Pretrial Procedures in Family Law Cases Involving Children.
(1) Pretrial Conference. In dissolution cases involving families with children, non-parental custody cases, paternity cases not filed by the prosecutor, domestic relocation cases, cases to establish or disestablish paternity and set residential schedules, and in actions to establish or modify a parenting plan, the Court will schedule a pretrial conference, which shall be attended by the lead trial attorney of each party who is represented by an attorney and by each party who is unrepresented. The conference may include:
(A) Hearing of non-dispositive pretrial motions;
(B) Filing of trial briefs;
(C) The Court’s estimate of length of trial;
(D) Any other matters that might simplify the issues and bring about a just, speedy and economical resolution of the matter.
[Adopted effective September 1, 2004; Amended effective September 1, 2008; September 2, 2013.]