What is mediation?
Mediation is a legal process for family law cases. The goal is for people to agree on some or all issues. When they can, trial may not be necessary. This saves time and money.
It is supposed to be an objective and confidential process. Some courts provide mediators at no cost. Private mediator rates vary. They tend to charge per each hour they work.
Not surprisingly, where there are no children or few things to divide, it can be a simple process. Courts like to see issues resolve. With COVID, courts are even more in favor of mediation to resolve disputes.
Who is involved in the mediation process?
Typically, the mediator and divorcing parties work to create a solution.
Sometimes the mediator meets with each party one on one. And, often they request information from each party. They ask for items related to the family home or child information.
Are mediators the same as lawyers?
Mediators and family lawyers are different. A lawyer can work as a mediator part time, and can work as a lawyer on another case. They are often are trained in areas of conflict resolution, mental health, and domestic abuse. Every mediator in Oregon is must meet training and experience requirements.
What are the rules?
Every Oregon county must provide mediation service in family law cases. Mediators working in the court system can help to resolve matters related to custody and parenting time concerns. As a result, if you decline mediation, you usually have to explain why to the judge.
The Multnomah County website says mediation is required for any divorce case before court. Exceptions are made for cases with domestic violence. Washington County offers voluntary mediation. But, it does not require it for child support awards. Look at the web site for the county where you live to get information on requirements.
Can my divorce just go to trial?
If you are able to reach an agreement with the other party, your case might not go to trial. Usually, it’s easier for parties to come to an agreement if there are only a few issues.
How does mediation work for families with children?
If a case involves kids, some counties require parents attend a “mediation orientation.” Parents can also attend a required parenting class or work with a mediator before the court will hold a hearing.