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CAFFERKY | RUSSO Law Family Law – The Collaborative Law Process

About Family Law Mediation

The Divorce Mediation Process

Angie's 4 Steps to Separation / Divorce Mediation

Step 1

Once you decide to work with Angie, she will meet individually with you and your partner. She'll ask you about

  • any agreements you've made
  • your personal goals for mediation and the transitions
  • your children and how they are doing
  • any safety issues and/or about your relationship dynamics. 

It's normal to feel a little anxious or nervous. Even so it's important to speak openly and candidly with Angie. 

You'll be addressing important topics and making some big decisions, so letting her know how you are feeling is very important. Angie can change the structure of the mediation or build in breaks to make sure the process works for you and your partner.

What is said in the individual meeting is confidential and will not be told to the other party.

Step 2

Angie will give each of you a series of worksheets to help organize the financial and parenting aspects of your situation so you will be prepared for the joint sessions.

Step 3

You will schedule joint sessions with Angie, the number of which will be determined based on your needs and issues you need to discuss.

  1. For each particular topic, you will share your point of view.
  2. Angie will help each of you talk about your values, priorities and goals around the topic. The goal is to express what is important to you and to see that the other person fully understands what you’re communicating. You don’t need to agree on those values, priorities and goals – just understand them fully.
  3. Then you generate as many different options as you can. You measure them against each person’s list of values, priorities and goals to see how well each option fits the items on the lists.
  4. Then you select the option with the best fit and work out as many details as you can. You clarify details until it’s clear what you have agreed on and how you will carry out that option.
  5. The steps may seem straightforward and rigid, but often you need to go back and forth between them as you think of ideas you might not have shared yet. Sometimes, when you get to step 3, you need to take a break and research what options are practical or possible, then come back to another session and discuss the options.

Step 4

Once you reach a final agreement, Angie will draft the needed court documents upon request. These documents include everything you need to finalize your divorce, modification, and/or separation.

Ready to Give Mediation a Try?

Contact us to schedule your free consultation!

Contact Angie for your free one-hour Family Law consultation. You're welcome to ask questions and explore what approach fits your situation. Some people even get started on the same day!

Try a collaborative approach to divorce or separation

Still Have About Mediation?

What are the essential guidelines of Mediation?

Mediation is neutral. The mediator is not a judge and won’t decide who is right or wrong. The mediator is there to support both of you through the process of figuring out the best possible outcomes for yourselves and for your children. Both of you are entitled to respect and impartial consideration from the mediator.

Mediation is confidential. Nothing said during mediation can be used against you in court. Except in cases involving mandatory reporting of child abuse or elder abuse, everything said or written down during mediation is confidential.

Mediators can reveal only one piece of information to the court – that you and your partner participated in mediation. You can make suggestions, share information and brainstorm ideas, all without worrying that your statements will somehow be used against you later.

Mediation is voluntary. Although a court can order you to attend mediation, you decide how to engage in mediation and whether or not you reach an agreement. Angie respects your right to self-determination. Agreements in mediation require the full, informed consent of each person. The court isn’t overseeing the exchange of information. It’s up to you to negotiate and provide information in good faith. Although the mediator provides guidance, you are responsible for making sure you have all the information you need before making a decision.

You should be fully informed before you make a decision. Angie will encourage you to learn all you can about your options before deciding what to do. That means it’s your responsibility to consult with other professionals to make sure you understand the effect of a decision. Angie can provide referrals to professionals or resources to help you gather the information you need.

Tell me more about Family Mediation

A mediator is a neutral third party who helps you have productive conversations with each other. The mediator helps you generate creative solutions in a collaborative, consensual and informed manner. Family Law Mediation is an effective and cost-efficient way negotiate separation or divorce.

During the process, you, not a judge or a mediator, determine your own outcomes. In mediation, you can work on your communication skills and co-parenting relationship. A mediator typically plays several roles during the process: facilitator, communication coach, a teacher, note-taker and more. The mediator ensures both the process and conversation work for both people.

The goal of a Family Law Mediator is to help you reach an agreement that you both feel is fair. By providing you with information, structure and space to have a productive conversation, the mediator helps you reach the decisions needed to resolve conflict and legal issues.

When is mediation NOT a good fit?

Mediation is a great option in most situations. There are a few however where Family Law Mediation may not be the best option.

To be successful both members of the couple must feel safe. Both must be free to engage in meaningful negotiations or even end the mediation process. Mediation may not be appropriate where past or present domestic violence – or the threat of impending domestic violence – puts a spouse at risk.

To participate fully each member of the couple needs to have capacity to negotiate. Substance abuse, mental health issues or extreme emotional distress clouds your ability to think. Where any of these factors are present, it’s best to address the issue(s) before participating in mediation.

How much does mediation cost?

Separation or divorce is already a difficult financial transition for most families. In fact many families opt out of getting legal or private mediation services because they are financially out of reach.

Angie believes affordable quality legal services and mediation is essential. That’s why she has made her mediation packages and hourly rates are some of the lowest you’ll find. Also, to give you a break when you need it most, Angie accepts payment plans and credit cards.

Can Angie be my mediator AND attorney?

No, Angie can’t be both your mediator and attorney. Angie is an attorney. She can provide you with legal information or tell you what the law says. However, she can’t give you legal advice or tell you what is best for you in your particular situation.

Once a final agreement is reached in mediation, if you want it to become a court order (like a divorce judgment), Angie can draft the court documents required and help you file them with the court. Mediation is not a substitute for legal services. At CAFFERKY | RUSSO, we recommend that you consult with an individual attorney every step of the way. That includes before signing the documents that will be filed with the court.

Mediation can improve how you communicate and deepen your understanding of your conflicts. That said, Angie is neither a counselor nor a substitute for a therapist. People are often greatly helped by their involvement in therapy or counseling prior to, during and after mediation.

Phone: 503-743-8155  |  5200 SW Meadows Road, Ste 150, Lake Oswego, OR 97035  |  FAX: 503-726-5911

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