SUPPORTING EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE
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SEATTLE | WOODINVILLE
John C. Matson
Your Life. Your Goals. Your Solutions.
Law Office of
Make Your Life Transition As Smooth As Possible.
All endings are new beginnings.
In times of change, we put closure to the past by opening doorways into the future. If you are here, you are likely either in a time of change, or facing a time of change for yourself or your loved ones.
The rights and responsibilities associated with family relationships are critical to a person's wellbeing, and are sacred within society and to our personal lives. I am committed to protecting what our clients value the most, and doing so in ways that support the growth and wellbeing of all people involved, whenever possible.
Divorce, custody, domestic violence, and other issues surrounding family change are life altering events. If such events are able to be approached and addressed in an amicable, non-contentious way, if possible, everybody ends up in a better position. While an uncontested divorce is optimal for the couple and children, if involved, this is not always the possible. When amicable negotiations are not possible, the family change you experience and have to live with may feel as if they will never end. And unfortunately, all the costs also increase - mentally, emotionally, and financially. When a marriage is under extreme stress, spouses are often guarded or antagonist to each other. Whatever your specific situation, and whatever your ideal outcome, the support and counsel of an experienced and compassionate attorney can make a considerable difference.
In my practice, I approach divorce and family law holistically, knowing that the parties are often adversarial by the very nature of the conflict, or for no other reason than the legal system itself which creates adversaries. However, unless a person is facing a truly dangerous situation that arises out of domestic violence, substance abuse, mental/emotional instability, or other legitimate threats to the health and safety of others, I hope to help create an environment where people work together. My goal is to use effective negotiation and/or mediation to help clients reach agreements out of court. Most people are able to resolve cases this way without the time and expense of a trial. This is ideal. It is much better for two people to make decisions on how their individual lives will unfold rather than hand over their autonomy to a judge or commissioner who will make the decision(s) for them. That said, agreements cannot always be reached. So while I do view legal matters and the people involved holistically, holistic does not necessarily mean that everybody 'wins'. I will litigate aggressively for my clients at trial.
My ultimate goal as an attorney and counselor is to help my client(s) and their loved ones move forward into a future they desire. I am successful if my clients can step into the future knowing that much of the uncertainty of the past is now behind them. Peace of mind is necessary to heal and move on.
It is often not in your best interest to be in court. In court, judges and commissioners decide how your life will unfold from that point on. While judges and commissioners do the best they can at law and in equity (fairness), they know little about you, are under incredible time constraints, have a court docket that is very full, and often have multiple cases scheduled for the same day. The better approach is always to try to achieve a settlement where you retain control over the outcome rather than to entrust a judge or commissioner with the power to make some of the most personal and long-lasting life changing decisions for you and your family.
I treat each case uniquely and customize your divorce, separation or family law matter according to your needs. If your case does not settle, we are confident in our litigation skills so that you will be prepared. In addition we work with the most competent, accountants, appraisers and experts who all have impressive qualifications and reputations.
I seek your input continuously because no one knows your case better than you. I will guide, advise and prepare you as your case proceeds, but in almost every situation, you make the final decision, and I will always respect your final decision. Being clear, assertive, and proactive is the best approach for a decision that will affect you and your family for the rest of your lives. If you desire, my legal representation does not end when your divorce or separation becomes final. I hope to have earned your trust and confidence so that if issues arise down the road, you want to come back to me to enforce court orders, Parenting Plans, Orders of Child Support, Orders of Protection and any other issues that relate to your family’s well-being.
UNBUNDLED LEGAL SERVICES
In addition to the standard legal representation arrangements I typically have, I also provide counsel to who feel they can work with their partner to conduct the legal proceedings themselves but need direction and advice as their case proceeds.
To that end, I provide unbundled legal advice and services that one can pay by the hour to review and discuss strategies and issues involving your case. Counseling is particularly important when clients are not yet ready to file, but want to take proactive steps to make sure their legal interests are protected. When the parties are able to work cooperatively we can many times enter a decree of dissolution or legal separation quite inexpensively. Likewise, it is often both wise and prudent to seek legal advice before a court hearing where important decisions are made that directly impact the complexion of the matter, perhaps permanently.