Mediation is a voluntary process where parties meet with an experienced mediator to resolve disagreement and reach consensus. Mediation is used wherever conflict arises: divorce, child custody and parenting time disputes, business disputes, estate disputes, etc. Attorneys are usually not directly involved in mediation. It is a process between the parties.
Mediators help people in conflict resolve their disagreements. It is a voluntary process. Mediators do not give legal advice. They do not decide cases or disputes. They help people resolve their disputes together. Mediation is confidential. It is an alternative dispute resolution process that can avoid the rancor and expense of court battles. Some advantages of mediation over litigation:
1. Mediation is usually much less expensive than litigation.
2. In Mediation the parties work together to reach a decision which creates a more positive atmosphere for implementing the agreement over time.
3. Mediated agreements are especially good for children who do not do well with battling parents in long drawn out custody battles.
4. The parties retain some control over the outcome of a mediated agreement. While they must be willing to compromise they can set certain limits on what they are willing to agree to. When people go to court they lose all control over the outcome – it is completely up to the judge.
Arbitration is a conflict resolution process where the parties present evidence to the arbitrator and make arguments for how they believe the conflict should be resolved. The arbitrator then makes a decision, usually called an award, which resolves the conflict. An arbitrator is like a private judge. Arbitration is less formal than a court trial and usually far less expensive. It can usually be done sooner and much more quickly than the formal court process. If the parties have attorneys the attorneys usually participate in arbitration.
If you have questions about either arbitration or mediation feel free to contact me on the Contact page.
Law Practice: I also have a limited family law practice of counsel to Ivers and Miller in Albany, Oregon. You can call to make an appointment at 541-928-5875.
If you would like to subscribe to one of my free monthly newsletters (Oregon Family Law or Oregon Criminal Law) please go to the Newsletter page.