Understanding divorce mediation in Oregon

Couples facing divorce or separation in Portland may be able to benefit from mediation rather than litigation.

Mediation today offers couples getting divorced an alternative to lengthy and costly litigation. It can be used by people seeking divorce or separation in Portland. The ability to reduce conflict during these processes can benefit not just spouses but any children that may be involved as well.

Improving communication between spouses is a focus of the mediation process. The Oregon Courts website states that every county in the state is required to offer some level of divorce mediation through what it calls court-connected mediators. These professionals do not make decisions but rather assist spouses through what is intended to be a more amicable process than divorce litigation.

How mediation works in Portland

Each of the three counties in the Portland metro area has its own divorce mediation program. The Multnomah County website indicates that mediation is required for any divorce case before it can go to court. Exceptions are made for cases involving domestic violence.

Washington County offers voluntary mediation according to its website but it does not include mediation for child support awards. The Clackamas County family court website notes that all mediation in divorces is voluntary and decisions can include child support.

Mediation is different than arbitration

Some people believe that arbitration and mediation are the same but the Huffington Post points out that is not the case. An arbitrator makes decisions in cases but a mediator does not. The mediator's job is to facilitate decisions made by the spouses directly. It is also important to note that people can still utilize attorneys during mediation as advisors in the process.

Conflict reduction during and after divorce

Minimizing conflict is a primary benefit of mediation during divorce. The ability to do this can not only make the divorce itself less difficult but it can set up a more positive atmosphere for after the divorce. For people that must co-parent after divorce this can be highly beneficial and it is in the best interests of children.

Technology can also offer some assistance to this end. An article in the Huffington Post discussed how some apps have been developed to help divorced parents jointly track and manage financial details regarding their children. The ability to do this can often eliminate disputes between parties and help to keep situations more positive.

Do your homework

When a divorce appears apparent, spouses are encouraged to talk with an attorney. This can help people to understand their options, including mediation, and what is best for themselves and for their children.

Keywords: divorce, mediation, litigation