Divorce for Grown-ups

The Quirk Law Group Offers Legal Representation for People Navigating an Amicable Divorce in King County, WA


Virtual Practice

Based in Kirkland, WA


Karin Quirk’s vision for effective, amicable divorces takes a “grownup” approach to dissolution. This short video gives you an idea of our philosophy and how we achieve great results.

At the Quirk Law Group, we focus on amicable, respectful divorces and doing the utmost to achieve out-of-court resolutions. 

Our Services

Our practice focuses on family law services for people who commit to the amicable divorce process. We are licensed in Washington State and see clients in King County.

Petition for Divorce

We help people with legal separation, or dissolution of a family partnership

Temporary Orders for Support

Temporary orders for support, financial restraints, or use of residence

Parenting Plans

Thoughtful, sensible, and effective parenting plans for children

Child Support

Spousal Maintenance

Property Settlement Agreements


Kind, caring, empathic, and fierce. You absolutely want them on your side!
Claire Bruining
Best services ever received, minimizing the complexity of following process to see things through. Thank you Melissa and Karin!
sravy p
Working with Karin and Melissa was the so helpful and reassuring. They delt with an extremally difficult spouse professionally and directly. I can't thank them enough for their support and professionalism. Mellissa and Karin walked me through a anxiety ridden situation with good legal advice and helpfulness. Thanks to you both, it was good working with you.
Cynthia McCall
Both Karin & Melissa were helpful, supportive, and definitely had my back as I navigated my divorce. While it was 'amicable' initially, there were some rough spots and they were responsive, and helped me understand my legal rights. I'm SO glad I hired legal council even though my ex thought we should just do it on our own, I really needed someone in my corner who knows the law, and who could help me walk through getting child support, and dividing our assets. Great value for the price and worth every penny!
Kris Prochaska
I had a fantastic experience with both Melissa and Karin during my legal separation and divorce process. They were extremely knowledgeable, supportive and responsive through the entire process. It was a pleasure working with them and am very grateful for their services. Highly recommend The Quirk Law Group.
SquareRaptor gamer
Melissa was fabulous to work with and helped me come to a speedy and just divorce. Thank you for all of your efforts!
Lauren Vincent
Karin and Melissa were wonderful, and helped me through the process every step of the way to a reasonable settlement. I give them my highest recommendation!
Doug Henderson
Working with both Karin and Melissa made the process much smoother than I thought it would be. They were both very responsive when we had questions (and I had a lot). They addressed the concerns on both sides with understanding and expertise. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a solid, caring legal team for their divorce.
Stacy Pare
Karin and her team are the best, they were with me every step of the way of my divorce, they understand that it is a difficult situation and with many emotions. They answered every question I always had with great professionalism and respect, but above all with great human quality in these difficult moments that we are going through.
Jose Huesca
I love working with Karin!
Lacey Jayne

What is an Amicable Divorce?

An amicable divorce prioritizes cooperation and respect over conflict, aiming for a fair and civil resolution for both parties.

The benefits of an amicable divorce extend far beyond saving money on legal fees. Consider these advantages:

Reduced Stress

A less contentious process means less emotional strain on everyone involved.

Healthier Co-Parenting

Amicable exes can create a more positive environment for raising children.

Faster Resolution

Cooperation leads to a swifter divorce process, allowing you to move forward with your life sooner.

Less Financial Strain

Avoiding lengthy court battles keeps legal costs down.

Preserving Relationships

Respectful interactions can maintain a positive connection with your ex-spouse, which can be beneficial for extended family and social circles.

Personally Commit to an Amicable Divorce for the Best Possible Post-Divorce Life

Our Blog

Negotiation, Mediation, Arbitration And Other Forms Of Alternative Dispute Resolution For Divorce

Negotiation, Mediation, Arbitration And Other Forms Of Alternative Dispute Resolution For Divorce

Negotiation, mediation, arbitration, settlement conference are terms sometimes used interchangeably by the lay public. They actually are quite distinguished from each other and have a different interpretation. Here is a guide to these terms as generally accepted in the legal community.

In most jurisdictions, including Washington State, before a couple can have a trial before a judge in a divorce matter they are required to participate in Alternative Dispute Resolution. (ADR) There are many forms of ADR and the approach can be quite different. There is no right and wrong, rather it is more a matter of what is appropriate given the issues to be resolved, the personality of the parties, and even the preferences of the attorneys. I view all of these forms on a continuum of formality and aggressiveness. Here are some general explanation of terms:


Negotiation can be very informal as a husband and wife discussing issues at the kitchen table to a formal meeting with attorneys. There is no intermediary and the parties are working to find an acceptable resolution. Negotiation requires some mutual respect and trustworthiness and both parties should be negotiating in good faith. Obviously, negotiation is the most cost effective alternative.


Neutral Mediator

There are several forms of mediation. Often in divorce, parties will seek the assistance of a mediator to help them resolve outstanding issues. A mediator is neutral and will not offer an opinion or legal advice. The mediator is trained in drawing parties out to find acceptable solutions. Once the parties motivating factors are discovered it is often possible to find a resolution that will meet both parties needs. For example, one party may be more interested in retirement assets and is willing to give in on sharing home equity. While the mediator is neutral, she may help tip the balance of power for the person in the weaker bargaining position or the less sophisticated party.

Directed Mediation

Sometimes as a case gets more contentious, the parties will work with a more directed mediator. I distinguish this type of mediation by calling it a settlement conference. The mediator is typically a retired judge of a senior family law attorney with years of experience. The mediator is more apt to offer opinion and attempt to persuade a party toward a particular resolution. The mediator’s goal is to get the parties to an agreement and avoid further litigation which can be contentious and expensive.

The parties’ attorneys will most likely write a brief or “settlement letter” and offer evidence to support her client’s position. The mediator is not a judge but since she will be offering an opinion as to the best settlement posture, it is important that the mediator be well informed as to each of the parties’ positions.

Settlement conferences are more costly than simple interest based mediation because there is often extensive preparation but is certainly less costly than a trial before a judge.


If the parties cannot reach a settlement through negotiation or mediation, they may opt for arbitration. In this format, the parties and or their attorneys present their best argument and evidence and the arbitrator makes a decision. Often the parties have agreed to make the decision binding, meaning the arbitrator’s ruling will determine the final outcome and the parties agree to abide by the decision. There generally is no appeal from a binding arbitration ruling.

Sometimes if the parties were unable to come to terms through mediation, they will let the mediator become an arbitrator and make a ruling. There is some controversy behind this and the pros and cons for the particular case must be considered.

Binding arbitration results in a much faster decision than one would get at trial, the evidence is presented in a more informal manner and the parties do not have to wait several months for a trial date. Arbitration will generally cost less than a full court trial.

This is a very brief overview of the various forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution and is designed to merely distinguish some of the terms often used. The best approach should be determined in a discussion with legal counsel. I generally start with the most informal, less costly negotiation possible and proceed up the continuum all in the interest of giving my client the most control over the outcome.

I’m happy to offer a brief consultation for your consideration. I also offer a legal coaching program to help parties wishing to represent themselves.

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don’t believe everything you read online

don’t believe everything you read online

I was recently looking online for a link to a specific law firm when I found information in a well-known legal directory. It was titled “When you need a divorce lawyer,” and I found this: ...getting divorced may be the most challenging thing you ever do. Add in the...

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