Portland Divorce Mediation Lawyers
Divorce Mediation Leads to a Collaborative Approach
At times, divorce and other family law matters in Portland, OR can be resolved without the expense, time, and stress of lengthy courtroom proceedings. Involving a professional mediator who encourages productive communication between disputing parties, mediation takes a collaborative approach to a disagreement. Divorce mediation allows disputing parties to retain more control over proceedings – and their outcome. Rather than lawyers and judges making decisions regarding custody or divorce, the parties themselves can reach mutually acceptable agreements that are in their best interests.
Benefits of Divorce Mediation in Portland
In determining whether mediation is right for you (or if it will be required in your case), you may find it helpful to review the pros and cons of this collaborative approach to family law disputes.
Mediation can offer several key benefits. For example:
- Mediators are impartial and must not favor one party over the other.
- Mediation is confidential.
- Mediation typically takes far less time than courtroom hearings and proceedings.
- Mediation is typically far less expensive than litigating family law matters.
- Mediation helps disputing parties retain more control over proceedings.
- Mediation leaves the door open to more flexible agreements, based on a family’s unique needs.
When mediation is not required by the court, it is completely voluntary. That means that both parties must agree to take this approach. Additionally, parties may find that, even under a mediator’s skilled guidance, they cannot reach agreements regarding their dispute. At that point, they may need to go through with court proceedings.
Should we as the mediator not be able to resolve your issues and litigation is needed, we as the mediator will not be able to represent either you or your spouse.
How Much Does Divorce Mediation Cost?
Levine Law Center offers a transparent, straightforward cost to mediation.
We offer a full-day mediation session for a flat fee of $5,000. As part of this, we as the mediator will also review any materials sent prior to mediation (e.g., we typically will want a confidential statement from each side regarding the issue(s) that they believe are in dispute). We also like to review any critical financial documents ahead of time, too. If the marriage has children, we like to understand their ages, extra-curricular interests and schedule, and also the parents' work schedules.
Although it is not mandatory, if we reach full resolution at mediation, we strongly urge the parties to allow us to draft the divorce paperwork. We have that ready for review and signature within one week. After review by each party and signatures, we can file it with the court and will typically have you divorced within two weeks thereafter. We do this for a flat fee of $3,000, including any and all court filing fees.
Thus, from start to finish, the total cost to get the divorce will cost $8,000. Keep in mind that even low conflict but contested, litigated divorces can easily cost $10,000 - $20,000 per side, so going the route of a divorce-settled mediation invariably saves people a tremendous amount of money (not to mention time and stress).
Divorce often ends up being so costly because spouses who can’t agree on a settlement spend a lot of time in court to resolve their disputes. This means that they’re paying their attorneys by the hour for many more hours than it might take to settle a divorce through mediation.
Remember: Less time spent with attorneys in court can mean spending far less on the average divorce.
How Long Does Divorce Mediation Take?
Although Oregon used to have a law that required couples to wait 90 days after filing for divorce, no such wait is necessary anymore. This means that if a couple chooses to pursue mediation and has an uncontested divorce, they could settle in a matter of weeks.
This is much faster than a contested divorce involving litigation, which can take six months to a year or longer to complete.
How to Prepare for Divorce Mediation
Preparing for divorce mediation is often key to reaching a settlement as quickly as possible and without incurring any unnecessary expenses.
The first thing you’ll need to do is assemble all the necessary paperwork that could be relevant to your divorce. This will include recent pay stubs, W2 or 1099 forms, an itemized list of assets (bank accounts, retirement accounts, real estate, etc.). You will also need to list your debts (credit cards, mortgage, auto loans, student loans, etc.).
You should also set goals for the mediation process. This means articulating what you and your spouse want to walk away from the mediation process with. Goals can include how assets and debts should be divided, how much parenting time each spouse gets with children, and other important objectives.
Once you and your spouse feel fully prepared to begin the divorce mediation process, it’s time to seek the assistance of a mediator like someone from Levine Law Center who can help.