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What do mediators do in an Oregon divorce?

By August 10, 2022January 8th, 2024Divorce, Mediation

Every marriage is different, and some of them don’t last forever. Although the end of a marriage is sad, it’s also true that many times… most times… there is no shame in it. 

If you’re contemplating a divorce in Oregon, your next decision to make is whether to go through a traditional divorce or to try divorce mediation.

As the founder of Mediation Northwest, I have intentionally designed my unique divorce mediation process to help couples reach fair conclusions. But what does that mean, exactly? And what do divorce mediators do?

What Do Divorce Mediators Do?

In a traditional divorce, the divorcing couple will each hire an attorney, each of whom then has to prep their case (which doubles the cost). 

Only after each attorney has prepared their case (i.e. having spent a lot of their time and your money) do they try to solve the problems of the divorce; and they come to it from two very different perspectives. This essentially triples the cost, is double the work, and pits the two parties against each other every step of the way.

Mediators, on the other hand, are neutral third parties in your divorce process. 

Mediators hear both parties’ concerns, guide the couple through an agenda, and help the divorcing couple find solutions by moderating discussions and ensuring both sides’ perspectives are heard.

Here’s how:

  • Your Oregon divorce mediator will have a clear agenda of what needs to be discussed in regard to your specific divorce situation. They will lead you through each discussion point and find a unique solution for each point. 
  • Just like an attorney, your mediator will prepare and file all of the documents necessary for your divorce with the court (in the state of Oregon).
  • Because of their years of experience, your mediator will have the knowledge that will help guide you to a solution more quickly.

Why Use Divorce Mediation in Oregon?

Divorce mediation provides each party with a chance to be heard. With the help of your Oregon mediator, you’ll be able to come to an agreement about the outcome and details of your divorce.

Some of the benefits of divorce mediation, then, include:

  • Saving Time: Traditional divorces in the courts typically take between 9-18 months, whereas mediation usually takes between 3-5 months.
  • Saving Money: Court proceedings are 3-5 times higher in cost than mediation.
  • Reducing Drama: In mediation, the parties talk about problems and solutions to those problems, and it’s the mediator’s job to help them cut through the nonsense.
  • Taking control: When parties submit their divorce to the court to decide, the parties lose control over their future. Mediation requires that both parties agree on the solutions, which means you control your custody arrangements and your support obligations.
  • Repairing Relationships: Mediation requires you to work together to determine the terms of your divorce, leading you to learn different ways to interact and communicate going forward.

At Mediation Northwest, our motto is “divorce without drama,” because while divorce is painful  – it doesn’t have to get ugly. This is about your life. You don’t want to screw over your spouse, but you don’t want to be taken advantage of, either.

Divorce mediation provides that sweet spot, and I’m happy to help you get started on that journey.

The Importance of Using an Attorney-Mediator for an Oregon Divorce

Making sure to hire an attorney-mediator for your divorce is the single most important decision you will make in selecting your divorce mediator.

A divorce attorney-mediator is much more likely to have the knowledge of divorce law that you may need for your situation. 

The problem with non-attorney divorce mediators is that they don’t know what they don’t know. For example, if they don’t know the law on capital gains, then they don’t know that it may apply to your situation. Not knowing that likely will cost you tens of thousands of dollars!

You don’t hire an electrician to handle your plumbing; you hire a plumber. If you wouldn’t hire an attorney to provide you with couples counseling, why would you hire a therapist-mediator to handle your divorce? 

On the flip side, divorce litigation attorneys love to think they can mediate a divorce because they have years of experience litigating divorces. 

But litigators are trained to advocate for one client and navigate that client to the finish line. Litigators lack the skill-set to stay neutral because they have trained their entire professional life NOT to be neutral. They can’t switch off their advocacy brain and automatically become neutral. 

The lesson is that you need to hire a divorce attorney-mediator who has taken the time to learn to be a mediator.

Contact Mediation Northwest to schedule your divorce mediation

No one will get ALL the wins in divorce mediation – in the end, things are typically evened out. Mediation helps people take control of their own divorce and feel heard. Our team at Mediation Northwest has been helping divorcing couples in Oregon for more than 20 years. Schedule your consultation today to get started.

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