“She knows the law, she is patient, and she is empathic in her appreciation of the difficulties the parties have in getting through the divorce process with the least amount of damage – both emotional and financial.”

One of the best things about being an attorney is helping other people find their voice in difficult and emotional situations. It can be hard to express yourself in situations where your whole life is about to change. Whether it is helping a client navigate a contentious divorce, helping a stepparent adopt a beloved child, or helping draft agreed documents in a collaborative case, I strive to be mindful of my client’s need to be heard and how I can best facilitate that for them.

Partly this is about listening. Many of my clients are relieved that someone has really listened to their perspective, their fears and concerns, and their hopes for their future. While the emotional background of a case may not matter to the court, it is important to me because it helps me better understand where you are coming from, and allows me to better help you achieve a mutually agreeable and durable resolution.

My goal is to help my client minimize conflict, anxiety, and discord in their divorce while working as an effective advocate. There are a myriad of methods we can use to resolve issues, and most people are able to find an agreed settlement with one of the tools available. I enjoy working with people to reach a solution that represents a lasting agreement between the parties.

My practice has focused on families and includes the following types of representation and assistance:

Collaboration: Some couples explicitly want to work together to reach mutual agreement despite their differences. Those clients can work with their spouse 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 to achieve this agreed outcome.

Representation: While some cases require the assistance of the court, even in more “traditional” situations I aim to find solutions for my clients that bring down the conflict between the parties (and the attorneys) and find paths to resolution through one of the many mediation or other dispute resolution tools.

Mediation: As a neutral mediator I facilitate the settlement discussion between the spouses, helping them explore their options and get past their “stuck” points. A mediator cannot also be your attorney, so I advise that you both still have attorneys for legal advice and document preparation. I can act as a mediator in both a facilitative capacity, helping you and your spouse work through issues together, or in a settlement conference capacity, where the spouses and their attorneys are seeking help from a third party neutral.

Adoption and Surrogacy: I also offer services for people hoping to grow their families through adoption or assisted reproductive technology and surrogacy.

You can contact Theresa directly at theresa@seattledivorceservices.com.

Theresa Lorella attended Seattle University for both her undergraduate and law school educations. Licensed in 2005, Theresa’s primary focus through the years has been family law. When she’s not practicing law, she’s running, writing novels and chasing after her two young children, in no particular order.