Helene Ellenbogen

Law Offices of Helene Ellenbogen P.S.

2611 NE 113th Street
Seattle, Washington 98125

206-223-5500

Child Custody, Child Support Modification, Divorce, Divorce Modification and Enforcement, Family, LGBT, Marital Property, PostNuptials, Same Sex Disputes, Spousal Support, Wills

Located in Seattle, the legal practice of Helene Ellenbogen focuses on family law issues including but not limited to divorce/legal separations, domestic partnerships, adoptions, and paternity/custody. She is also familiar with wills, trusts, probates, and small business formations. Her pro bono work focuses on family law through bar association programs. Helene Ellenbogen has a strong background in medical ethics and psychology and has served on boards and advisory committees of several institutions addressing such issues. Helene Ellenbogen graduated from the University of Washington School of Law in 1990 and has been in private practice since 1991. Prior to practicing law, Helene Ellenbogen was a literature professor for fifteen years, with a graduate degree from the University of Chicago. She focuses her practice on the needs of families and their lifestyles. She provides a friendly and welcoming environment for gay and lesbian families as well as all families from any ethnic or religious background.

Mediation is the attempt to help parties in a disagreement to hear one another, to minimise the harm that can come from disagreement (e.g. hostility or ‘demonising’ of the other parties) to maximize any area of agreement, and to find a way of preventing the areas of disagreement from interfering with the process of seeking a compromise or mutually agreed outcome.

Mediation, as used in law, is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), a way of resolving disputes between two or more parties with concrete effects. Typically, a third party, the mediator, assists the parties to negotiate a settlement. Disputants may mediate disputes in a variety of domains, such as commercial, legal, diplomatic, workplace, community and family matters.

The term "mediation" broadly refers to any instance in which a third party helps others reach agreement. More specifically, mediation has a structure, timetable and dynamics that "ordinary" negotiation lacks. The process is private and confidential, possibly enforced by law. Participation is typically voluntary. The mediator acts as a neutral third party and facilitates rather than directs the process. Mediation is becoming a more peaceful and internationally accepted solution in order to end conflict. Mediation can be used to resolve disputes of any magnitude.

Mediators use various techniques to open, or improve, dialogue and empathy between disputants, aiming to help the parties reach an agreement. Much depends on the mediator's skill and training. As the practice gained popularity, training programs, certifications and licensing followed, producing trained, professional mediators committed to the discipline.

The benefits of mediationinclude:

Cost 
While a mediator may charge a fee comparable to that of an attorney, the mediation process generally takes much less time than moving a case through standard legal channels. While a case in the hands of a lawyer or a court may take months or years to resolve, mediation usually achieves a resolution in a matter of hours. Taking less time means expending less money on hourly fees and costs.
Confidentiality 
While court hearings are public, mediation remains strictly confidential. No one but the parties to the dispute and the mediator or mediators know what happened. Confidentiality in mediation has such importance that in most cases the legal system cannot force a mediator to testify in court as to the content or progress of mediation. Many mediators destroy their notes taken during a mediation once that mediation has finished. The only exceptions to such strict confidentiality usually involve child abuse or actual or threatened criminal acts.
Control 
Mediation increases the control the parties have over the resolution. In a court case, the parties obtain a resolution, but control resides with the judge or jury. Often, a judge or jury cannot legally provide solutions that emerge in mediation. Thus, mediation is more likely to produce a result that is mutually agreeable for the parties.
Compliance 
Because the result is attained by the parties working together and is mutually agreeable, compliance with the mediated agreement is usually high. This further reduces costs, because the parties do not have to employ an attorney to force compliance with the agreement. The mediated agreement is, however, fully enforceable in a court of law.
Mutuality 
Parties to a mediation are typically ready to work mutually toward a resolution. In most circumstances the mere fact that parties are willing to mediate means that they are ready to "move" their position. The parties thus are more amenable to understanding the other party's side and work on underlying issues to the dispute. This has the added benefit of often preserving the relationship the parties had before the dispute.
Support 
Mediators are trained in working with difficult situations. The mediator acts as a neutral facilitator and guides the parties through the process. The mediator helps the parties think "outside of the box" for possible solutions to the dispute, broadening the range of possible solutions.
2611 NE 113 Street
Seattle, WA 98125

P; 206-223-5500
F: 206-440-0636
E: [email protected]