In every consultation I am asked, “What are the steps for a successful divorce mediation?”
After you have selected your divorce mediator, you initially feel relief, which is immediately followed by a panicked thought: “Now what?”
With over 24 years of experience as an attorney who mediates divorces, I have strategically designed a process to maximize your time. Here’s what happens.
Step 1: Fill-out the interactive digital questionnaire
I have invested thousands upon thousands of dollars in technology to create a better experience for my clients. I designed a digital interactive questionnaire that asks you questions, and then you simply respond to those questions.
If you have children, then the questionnaire will automatically populate questions about kids. And the converse is true, too. If you don’t have little gremlins, then the questionnaire won’t ask you those questions.
The questionnaire gives you the opportunity to upload documents (if you want). It even has a “save as you go” feature. Preparing the information surrounding your marriage takes time.
Therefore, our Mediation Northwest interactive questionnaire allows you to save the information and return to it on another night.
You aren’t spending hours away from work sitting with a paralegal answering questions. Instead, you are sitting in your jammies at your computer without taking a minute from your workday! That’s just one reason to choose an attorney who leverages technology for your benefit.
Step 2: It’s time to mediate
In my office I always schedule couples for two-hour mediation sessions. I’ve noticed over my 24+ year career that it is the Goldilocks of time-frames for divorce mediation.
Not too much, not too little, but just right.
Between each mediation session you may have a few tasks to complete. I always email my clients a Task List after each session so that they know exactly what tasks they need to complete to continue moving forward.
Clients continue to schedule and attend two-hour mediation sessions until they are settled on all issues.
Step 3: It’s time to draft the documents necessary to achieve a divorce
I always promise my clients that I will only take two weeks to draft all the documents. You might be thinking that two weeks is a long time, but most attorneys take several MONTHS.
Sometimes I am drafting nine documents for a divorce. Other times, I am drafting 15+ documents.
Either way, I never take longer than two weeks to draft, and you can take that to the bank.
Once documents are drafted, then we edit the documents until everyone is comfortable. Sometimes, people want their own attorneys to review the documents — just in case. This is the time for that to happen.
Step 4: It’s time to file for divorce
In my office, we file all the documents on the same day with the court. We do this intentionally to minimize your time in the court system, which can be stressful for folks.
Our clients never step foot into the courthouse. We handle everything. We even handle the unanticipated three-hour telephone and email game with the court when they incorrectly assign a case or refuse to accept a case.
Yep, we handle any mess created by the court for our clients.
And, since our clients are in a fixed fee model, they don’t pay a dime for all of the unforeseen, out of our control, time spent handling it.
Generally, it takes the court between two and fourteen business days to sign the divorce judgment. The day the judge signs is the day you are divorced.
Step Five: It’s time to tie-up all the loose ends
There are probably some loose ends created by the divorce, such as assigning bank accounts to the other party, signing over vehicle titles to the other party, etc.
We send our clients a Final Task List that is unique to each client, identifying what specific task needs to be completed and when it needs to be completed.
And then you’re done!
Contact Mediation Northwest to get started
That covers the Oregon divorce mediation process in a nutshell. Do you still have questions? Schedule a consultation with me. I am happy to guide you through this difficult time.