“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.”

I became an attorney to be a voice for people having trouble being heard. As a divorce and paternity lawyer I help my clients express their needs and concerns, and also help them bring the voice of the children into the room. When both parents keep their children in the forefront, they reach better agreements and they reach them more easily.

Many of my clients are relieved that someone has really listened to their perspective about the end of their relationship, their unique fears and concerns, and their hopes for the future. Each person’s story is important; while there are certain things that we don’t end up using in negotiations or the courtroom, it is important for me to understand your emotions, fears, and family dynamics coming into the case. Knowing your feelings about the situation helps me to more effectively give voice to the issues that are truly important as we move through the settlement or litigation process to resolution. It also helps me to know what the emotional bottom line is, allowing us to find creative solutions during settlement negotiations and mediation. Some of the best compliments I have received have been from mediators who praised my creative problem solving and from clients who said “you really helped me get through this.”

After more than eight years litigating family law cases, I believe that there are steps we attorneys can take to help support cooperation between parties so that you can move on with your life and assist your children in navigating their new lives. Sometimes going to court for either temporary orders or final resolution is necessary to protect you or to resolve the irresolvable. However, my years in the courtroom have also led me to understand that it is in your best interest to work out what we can outside of court. Having an active role in the disposition of your property and your children’s schedule is empowering and helps to forge the first steps towards moving forward.

My goal is to help you feel empowered and secure by explaining the process, answering your questions, and working with you to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your family. I want to help you achieve a positive restructuring of your family unit. I believe that people should be treated with respect. That applies not only to my own clients, but to opposing counsel, experts, and judicial officers, as well. My hope is that we can work together to come to an amicable solution to the issues you are facing.

My favorite clients value resolution over punishment. They have a problem solving mindset and can focus on the light at the end of the tunnel.

Collaboration: In addition to litigating, I assist select clients in a Collaborative divorce process. Those clients work with their spouse and a professional support team to design their own best solutions. Let me know if you are interested in exploring the Collaborative option.

Mediation: Finally, I also work as a family law mediator. 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 you will still need to have attorneys for legal advice and document drafting. Let me know if you are interested in discussing my mediation services.

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

Theresa Lorella attended Seattle University for both her undergraduate and law school educations. While Theresa has done work in civil rights and criminal defense, the primary focus throughout her career has been family law. She is a published author and speaks Spanish. Theresa has also done volunteer work with both the Homeless Legal Clinic and the Northwest Immigrants Rights Project.