Michelle Danley

Clarifying the Way Forward

“It has been an amazing experience working with Michelle! Michelle is always patient and resourceful. I really appreciate her for everything!”

“Michelle was a pleasure to work with – professional, diligent, and knowledgeable.”

My entire career has been built around helping families transition through some of their toughest moments. This work can be assisting people with ending a relationship, preserving relationships with their children, and establishing new relationships in a safe and hopeful way.

When a couple is facing divorce, there are a lot of questions and issues to resolve, including what to do about assets and debts, how much time each parent will get to spend with their children, and how to move towards being hopeful about the next stage of life. While every divorce has to separate finances, and everyone with kids has to deal with parenting issues, every family also presents its own unique circumstances and needs. More than 15 years of work on complex cases involving child abuse and neglect, substance abuse issues, and domestic violence means that I have helped families move through the legal process no matter how tangled their unique situation may be.

I work directly with clients to build trust together in several ways. First, I listen deeply to understand your specific needs and what your future goals are. Second, I communicate honestly with you about what the law may provide, what is likely, and what is possible.

My intention is to help you devise a road map to move towards your goals. I aim to give my clients the clarity to understand the upcoming forks in the road and to choose paths (or forge new ones!) that match your circumstances. For clients with kids, my focus is always strongly based on keeping their best interests foremost in the plan, and helping parents protect their children from conflict.

Wherever you are currently starting from in this process, my goal is to partner with you through this challenging time so that you emerge on the other side with your head held high regarding how we worked together on resolving your legal issues.

Finally, I am passionate about helping families navigate divorce, separation, and other issues through mediation and collaborative law when possible. I believe clients are best served by finding a peaceful resolution that maintains relationships and avoids the costs of litigation.

Collaboration: Some couples explicitly want to work together to reach mutual agreement, despite their differences. Those clients work with their partners and a professional support team to design their own best solutions. In a collaborative case, I act as your advocate in this facilitated setting, helping you achieve an outcome that you and your partner have agreed upon.

Representation: Some cases require the assistance of the court. In these situations, my goal is still to reduce conflict between the parties (and the attorneys) and find paths to resolution.

Mediation: As a neutral mediator, I facilitate the settlement discussion between the parties, helping them explore their options and move past any barriers to resolution. However, a mediator cannot also be your attorney, so I recommend that you both still have attorneys for legal advice and document preparation.

Appeals: I have a decade of experience doing appellate work. I represent clients who are appealing the decisions of their trial courts. Talk to me if you have an issue you feel should be appealed, but be aware there is a limited time frame after trial to file an appeal.

You can contact Michelle directly at michelle@seattledivorceservices.com.

Michelle Danley attended the University of California at Berkeley and the New York University School of Law. She has been practicing law since 2004 in family law, juvenile dependency, and appellate work.