The industrial revolution made it possible to mass produce items that had previously been custom made one by one. This reduced the cost and made items available to a much wider range of people. This model can be applied to divorce to streamline the process and reduce cost.
All divorces progress along a similar path by first commencing the process and identifying the basic issues, next a middle period of assessing the issues and gathering information, and a conclusion, where the issues are resolved either by agreement or court order. Finding an attorney can be daunting. Attorneys boast of qualities from aggressive to collaborative and can range from "bulldog" litigators, adept at creating maximum intimidation and billable hours, to those offering low cost, out-of-court settlements. Some attorneys believe that no expense should be spared to find potential "hidden" or undisclosed assets, which can cause a case to take many months and generate volumes of paperwork. Others can assess a reasonable range of settlement options quickly after all of the assets and debts are known and verified, and the client feels confident that there has been full disclosure.
Once retained, attorneys have traditionally driven the pace, scope and cost of the process, and the typical client has had little control beyond following the attorney's advice. If a client is frustrated with the cost or timeline, the only recourse is typically to fire his or her attorney and find another one to pick up the case. If a client runs out of money, the attorney will typically withdraw from the case, leaving the client high and dry.
FasTrackDivorce® streamlines the process and reduces the variables,
making the cost predictable and putting the client in control.
In the FasTrack Divorce® process, both parties are billed under a standard uniform fee structure, with the goal of keeping the total number of billable hours to under 20 per attorney, for a typical, non-complex case. Four-way meetings with the clients and attorneys proceed in two-hour segments. If unable to resolve all of the issues, a mediator/arbitrator is utilized, and if the parties cannot resolve the issues through mediation then the mediator is empowered to arbitrate the remaining issues. In order for this process to be effective, the parties must commit to the rules: full and rapid disclosure of all assets and debts, making and keeping appointments, and arbitrating the final disputes that have not been resolved through mediation.
Washington State has a minimum 90-day waiting period to finalize a dissolution. Under the FasTrack Divorce® process, a dissolution within this timeline will result, if the parties desire, provided that they have followed the protocols.