Portland Oregon Divorce mediator Stuart Watson describes benefits of mediation to two clients

The Benefits of Divorce Mediation

By combining the best practices and benefits of divorce mediation with the opportunity to obtain legal advice from a family law attorney, we provide the highest quality and most cost-effective program for guiding your family through divorce and legal separation.

Some of the advantages that our divorce mediator-guided process has over a standard, lawyer-driven divorce (litigation) include:

Save Money

Average Divorce Costs for Both Parties
Mediation: $1,400 - $3,000
Litigation: $20,000 - $50,000

Country-wide surveys demonstrate that the divorce costs through mediation are 10% or less of divorce costs through litigation. This is a significant benefit as families already experience financial strain when they begin supporting two homes; decreasing divorce expenses is a smart, practical business decision.

Protect the Children / Lower Conflict

Professionally guided problem solving to meet needs of whole family

Adversarial competition based on legal rights, threats and demands

The most significant divorce factor impacting children’s psychological and emotional health is the amount of conflict between the parents. The traditional, adversarial, lawyer-driven approach escalates conflict and stress and can leave lasting scars…thereby putting children’s well-being at risk. In contrast, the divorce mediation process has the benefit of managing and reducing conflict while clients learn and practice effective communication and negotiation skills, thereby establishing a foundation of functional co-parenting for the future.

Save Time and Stress

Average Divorce Time Frame
Mediation: 2 – 4 months
Litigation: 9 months – 2 years

Divorce mediation benefits you with a streamlined approach to information-gathering and decision-making, thereby shortening the amount of time all family members have to endure the anxiety of unresolved issues and unknown futures.

Remain in Control (Empowerment)

Divorce Mediators guide and educate people through their parental, financial, and legal options so they can make their own informed decisions about what is best for themselves and their family, instead of attorneys and judges taking control and making those decisions for them. Instead of blame and fault finding, mediators help ex-spouses communicate clearly and effectively, consider and discuss options, and take responsibility for their choices.

Customize Solutions

A litigated divorce provides a cookie-cutter approach, such as sell the house, split the retirement, establish a traditional parenting schedule. Divorce mediation can benefit ex-spouses by enabling them to think outside the box and develop a fair settlement that reflects their own and their families’ unique needs and goals. For example, they may trade retirement for house equity so that one spouse can retain the house, or develop a parenting schedule which creatively maximizes children’s time with each parent, while reducing the time the children spend in paid childcare.

Retain Privacy and Confidentiality

Family matters are sensitive and should remain private. In mediation, you will never set foot in a courtroom. Unlike a litigated divorce, your divorce process in mediation will not have hearings open to the public and become part of the public record. Divorce mediation confidentiality is protected by Oregon law. All verbal and written communications, all draft agreements, and disclosures are protected.

Avoid Future Legal Battles

When major parenting and financial decisions are made by others, such as attorneys and judges, and imposed upon people, they are much more likely to be resentful and resistant to the court’s judgment…finding a myriad of ways to evade following the judgment and sometimes repeatedly filing for legal appeals and modifications. This type of protracted long-term legal conflict depletes families emotionally and financially. In contrast, research has demonstrated that people are more invested, satisfied, and far more likely to follow through with agreements they voluntarily participated in developing.

Help Provide Closure

People often hire lawyers with the erroneous assumption that a judge will hear their case and validate the rightness of their position. In truth, only 10% of litigated divorce cases actually go to trial. Oregon is also a “no-fault state,” meaning that the spouses’ wrongdoing towards each other is largely irrelevant to the court’s decisions. Conversely, a well-trained divorce mediator can assist willing parties in discussing the decision to divorce, and in being heard about, and bringing closure to the wounds of the relationship.

Read: Common Myths of Divorce Mediation or more Divorce Mediation FAQs

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Divorce in Oregon mediation clients discussing the benefits of mediation