During the COVID-19 pandemic, I am taking pro-active steps to protect both my health and the health of others. While it is always preferable to have all parties attend mediation in person, during the pandemic personal safety is of paramount importance. Until further notice, therefore, all mediations and arbitrations are being performed by secure video conference. This is most successful if everyone is on a computer, not a phone, so documents can be easily reviewed. Payment in full of all mediation fees is still due at the conclusion of the mediation session, via electronic check or credit card.
If you have a court-ordered Parenting Plan in place—whether temporary or permanent/final—it’s important that you not make unilateral decisions during the pandemic that negatively impact the other parent’s residential time. In addition to the guidance provided by Governor Inslee’s office, Snohomish County Superior Court has issued guidelines that should be followed in all family law cases. If you have issues or disputes regarding COVID-19’s impact on your child’s residential schedule that you are unable to resolve with the other parent yourself, taking these guidelines into account, binding arbitration by agreement is one potential dispute resolution mechanism.
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