(541) 318-3330
339 SW Century Drive, Suite 201
Bend, Oregon 97702

Divorce Mediation

An alternative to traditional court-centered divorce litigation is divorce mediation. Whereas traditional litigation involves each party hiring their own lawyer to fight about all of the issues and then leaving all of the decisions in the hands of a judge, mediation is very different in that the parties themselves retain control over all matters including the timing, the process and the outcome. If a divorcing couple is able to work together rather than against each other, mediation offers numerous benefits that litigation doesn’t.

In mediation the parties meet together with me, the mediator, usually for a few sessions during which we work through all of the issues including division of property, parenting time, and child and spousal support. I act as a neutral third-party who is there to help the parties make mutually agreeable and beneficial decisions. The parties agree to share all material information and work together respectfully and civilly. At the end of the process I can draft and file the papers with the court to finalize the divorce.

There are no losers in mediation. The parties work together and do not have any decisions forced upon them by a judge who may or may not share their values. This process keeps control in the hands of the parties instead of the court and judge, keeps most of the information confidential, keeps costs much lower because expenses are shared, and preserves the relationship between the parties. This last factor is of great importance if the parties have children.

Divorce mediation can be of great benefit of the children of a divorcing couple. Divorce can be extraordinarily painful for a child. Mediation provides parents with an opportunity to model positive behavior to their children. Also, because the parents continue to be parents after the divorce, it is critical to the well-being of the child that the parents maintain a positive relationship.

I am not the lawyer for either of the parties, but my experience as a lawyer who has worked in numerous areas of law is of benefit to both. It is recommended that each party hire a lawyer to review any agreements that are made. The parties’ lawyers do not participate in the mediation sessions.

If a divorcing couple is willing and able to work together calmly and reasonably towards a mutually satisfactory resolution then mediation might be the best path for them. Contact us to learn more or to find out if you are good candidates for mediation and if this is an option that you would like to pursue.

Training:
    - Resolve Center for Dispute Resolution
    - Oregon Mediation Association
    - Two Rivers Institute for Dispute Resolution

Collaborative Law

Another alternative to the traditional court-centered divorce is collaborative law. In this method, both parties retain their own collaborative lawyers and all of the participants work together as a team to create solutions, come to resolutions, and stay out of court. As with mediation, each party agrees to share all material information and behave respectfully to each other. The parties can jointly hire outside professionals to provide information and advice on relevant issues such as valuation of assets and division of retirement accounts. Each party always has their own lawyer to provide advice. If the process breaks down the lawyers have to withdraw and each party hires new litigation counsel.

Contact us to find learn more about the collaborative approach and if you are good candidates for using this method.