Mediation is required in court proceedings involving the custody and parenting time (visitation) of minor children. If you are involved in a dispute over your children with your current/former spouse or the other parent of your child, the court will require you to go to mediation to attempt to resolve these issues. The mediator can help you to determine which parent should have custody of your child, as well as assist you in determining what parenting time schedule will work best for your child. Our attorneys can assist you in preparing for mediation so that you know what issues may come up and advise you on what a reasonable parenting plan looks like.
Some people elect to use a mediator to resolve all of their legal disputes, rather than going to trial. The professional mediators in our community are experienced jurists– either seasoned attorneys or former judges–who can assist you in reaching a resolution of your legal dispute. Using a professional mediator is often less costly than going to trial. Mediation also allows you to have a direct role in resolving your dispute rather than relying on the discretion of a judge. If voluntary mediation is the route you choose in resolving your dispute, our attorneys will select an experienced mediator for your mediation and will educate the mediator regarding the issues of your individual case. Our attorneys will participate in the mediation–to advise you on what offers to accept, what offers to make, and what offers to walk away from.
Arbitration is mandatory (court-ordered) in Oregon for any dispute involving $50,000 or less, with few exceptions. Arbitration is also mandatory in suits for divorce, annulment, and legal separation if the only contested issue is the division or distribution of property. Domestic relations cases involving the custody and parenting time of children, child support, and spousal support will not be required to go to arbitration. The presiding judge can exempt your case from mandatory arbitration under some circumstances. If your case is ordered to arbitration, the court will appoint an arbitrator and your case will be presented to that arbitrator by your attorney. After hearing all of the facts, the arbitrator will make the decision about your case. Our attorneys can assist you in preparing and presenting your case at arbitration. If you are unhappy with your outcome in arbitration, we can also assist you in appealing the arbitrator’s decision to the circuit court and requesting a new trial.