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Salem Attorneys Are Your Partner During Divorce Mediation or Arbitration

Mediation and arbitration could be the right tool for your divorce

When most people think about divorce, they think of the high cost and unpleasant public court proceedings. Although many divorces fit that description, an expensive, combative process is avoidable. Mediation and arbitration are cheaper and quicker alternatives to a drawn-out court battle often resulting in balanced settlements fair to both sides. Johnson & Taylor won’t take your case to trial for the sake of running up a large fee. If mediation is the right option for you, we tell you that and represent you during the mediation process.

The facts about mediation

Mediation is one of many tools for separated or divorcing couples and can replace a long and expensive trial. Unlike arbitration, in which a third party decides matters for the party, mediation employs a neutral third party, the mediator, who assists the two parties as they themselves try to work out an agreement. Both parties must agree to mediation, and if they do, they have complete control over the details of the agreement. Benefits of mediation include:

  • It is quicker and cheaper than going to trial.
  • The proceedings are private.
  • Cooperative solutions are usually better for the children involved.
  • It is not binding until both parties agree.
  • The divorcing parties control the agreement.

Nothing done in mediation is final until the parties sign off. If the couple cannot agree on everything, they can sign off on those things on which they do agree and work out the rest in court, which still saves time and money.

Even if you think that you and your ex-spouse will use mediation, consulting an experienced divorce attorney is still a good idea. Johnson & Taylor has the knowledge to tell you if you are a good candidate for mediation, and if so, which mediator will work best for your situation and how to get mediation started and paid for by the court.  We can be there for you during the mediation process to answer questions and offer advice.

How does the mediation process work?

A typical mediation session starts with an initial consultation in which the mediator explains the process, the roles of all parties, including the attorneys, and lays down the ground rules. The mediator also asks for a brief perspective of the dispute from each of the parties. If the parties wish to continue mediation, they meet at on later dates to discuss whatever issues they are tackling during that session. The mediator asks clarifying questions and tries to work with the parties to hammer out an agreement on as many issues as possible.

A mediation session can last about two hours, and the number of sessions needed varies, depending on the amount of issues on the table and how quickly each can be agreed upon, but it is typically three or four sessions. Results of mediation can be:

  • The parties resolve all of their issues and sign a binding agreement
  • The parties solve some of their problems and go to trial for the remaining issues.
  • The parties quit mediation at some point and go to trial, as mediation is purely voluntary.

Even though mediation avoids the courtroom altogether (assuming all issues can be mediated), it is wise to have an attorney with you throughout the process so you know whether you should or should not agree to certain provisions with your former partner. Johnson & Taylor knows the law and is a valuable resource for you during your mediation proceeding should you have any questions or concerns.

Let a Salem mediation and arbitration law firm make your divorce as painless as possible

Johnson & Taylor realizes that you are not looking forward to the divorce process, but we want you to know that there are other easier and less expensive alternatives to a full-blown trial. We have no desire to drag our clients through a long and unnecessary court proceeding. We are honest with our clients and advise them to use the process that best suits their needs. Our office is in downtown Salem, Oregon, and has ample free parking. We are fluent in Spanish. Contact us at 503-990-6641 or online.