Mediation is a cost effective and efficient way to resolve disputes.
Parties who choose to resolve disputes in mediation save both time and money by avoiding the overwhelming cost of litigating family issues in court and the time delays caused by overburdened dockets. Mediators work directly with parties and use shared time efficiently, and the process tends to move much more swiftly than litigation. One hourly rate is split among parties and scheduling is comparatively simple. A customized and comprehensive mediation agreement decreases the likelihood of future conflict and the need for expensive repeat court filings.
Mediation fosters lasting solutions and pragmatic, working relationships.
Major changes in family dynamics are incredibly stressful. Litigation is most often an adversarial process that aggravates this stress and family dysfunction. When families work with a mediator, relationships improve and tensions lessen as parties work collaboratively to find mutually acceptable solutions. A mediator helps parties identify individual needs and concerns, and then strategizes ways to effectively communicate and problem solve. A successful mediation provides parties the tools they need to co-parent and/or co-exist not only for the current moment, but for many years into the future.
Mediation improves outcomes for families and children.
Families who engage in mediation take an active role in resolving their disputes. Rather than relinquishing control to the court, families involved in mediation have the power to shape specific agreements to their particular needs. This involvement translates into a better rate of compliance with the agreement and fewer conflicts in the future.
Mediation is confidential and voluntary.
Unlike court proceedings that are open to the public, mediation is a confidential process protected under Oregon state law. Many families prefer to address their highly personal matters in a private setting. Additionally, parties to mediation participate on a voluntary basis and can choose to stop at any time. Litigation is always a choice if parties determine mediation is not appropriate.
HOW DO I GET STARTED AND HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
Often the process begins when one of the parties contacts my office to get additional information about mediation and my practice. After a question and answer session, the individual decides if they would like to work with me. If so, either they or I extend an invitation to the other party to participate. If everyone agrees to move forward, I typically meet each party for an hour long session to explore their individual perspectives and goals. We then schedule joint sessions which are typically 1 and ½ to 2 hours long. My role in joint session is to be a neutral facilitator and assist parties to identify and collaboratively solve conflict.
After each joint meeting I draft a short memorandum, to reflect the agreements reached. I encourage parties to review the memos carefully and share these with their attorneys (if they are represented,) and to return to the following session with suggested edits. Ultimately, I will generate a “final mediated agreement” which ideally addresses all of concerns and resulting agreements. This document can then be incorporated into a final court order once approved by all of the parties.
The duration of mediation depends upon the complexity of the issues involved. I welcome phone call inquiries to help estimate how long a particular case might take.
Hourly: $150.00First ½ hour phone consultation: Free of charge.