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Mediation, Collaboration, and Litigation Alternatives

How Mediation and Collaborative Divorce Can Complete Your Divorce Quickly and Inexpensively.

It is much more common these days to settle a divorce case without going to court because the court process is adversarial and can be damaging to both parties’ relationships with each other and their children. Resolving a case outside of court is usually more financially efficient for both parties than having a divorce trial.

Mediation is one of the most effective ways at avoiding costly litigation. As a mediator, I will act as a neutral party instead of acting as an advocate for one side or the other. I attempt to understand each party’s arguments and reasoning for their proposed resolution and try to inform them about what I think a court would do if presented with the facts they present to me. In the best case scenario, this allows the parties to enter into an agreement that completes their divorce quickly and inexpensively. A judgment is submitted to the court detailing the terms of their agreement and a judge will enter an order memorializing this agreement should it need to be enforced.

Collaborative Divorce is similar to mediation, but there is not necessarily a neutral party involved. The goal of collaborative divorce is to stay out of court and reach a settlement using settlement conferences where each party is represented by an attorney. This is different from the traditional divorce process because both the parties and attorneys pledge to avoid court from the outset and agree to not threaten to take the case to court. Collaborative divorce starts with an initial consultation with a lawyer who is willing to guide you through the collaborative divorce process. From there each party and their attorney will decide what information needs to be exchanged or investigated to provide everyone the ability to make informed decisions on all issues.

For example, the parties may agree to hire a custody evaluator to meet with the parties and children and offer their professional opinion on a what an appropriate custody and parenting time plan should be. In addition, financial experts can investigate the parties assets, debts and retirement accounts to offer their professional advice on the most efficient and equitable way to divide the parties’ assets and debts. Finally, you want to make sure you are working with professional Oregon Divorce Attorney, such as Henry LeSueur, who can advise you on what a reasonable settlement may look like given the input from experts. Even though going to court is not discussed in collaborate divorce meetings, it is important to know what would happen if the parties did go to court, which is advise I provide to my client throughout negotiations.

Collaborative divorce is good for individuals who want to make fact-based decisions rather than rely on having the best or most expensive attorney in the courtroom. This is how the collaborative divorce process can save both parties a lot of money compared to what the conventional divorce process would cost. Collaborative divorce also maintains the privacy of the parties. Unlike a divorce trial, which is a public, collaborative divorce meetings are private and the information shared there will always remain confidential. So if you value your privacy it would be a good idea to start with a collaborate divorce attorney.

Most cases can be resolved through the collaborative divorce process, however, some parties reach an impasse where they will simply not agree on something. You have a few options here. Most collaborative divorce agreements say that at this point both attorneys must withdraw. You can craft this agreement differently, however, such that if the remaining issues are narrow those issues can be referred to neutral decision-maker for final resolution. A retired judge, experienced family law attorney, or arbitrator could fulfill this role.

If you value privacy and efficiency you should contact attorney Henry LeSueur to find out more about this process and how it might help you resolve your case. Initial consultations include a full hour to discuss whether the Collaborative Divorce Process is right for you. You can rest assured that a collaborative divorce lawyer like Henry LeSueur is motivated to keep your divorce costs down and resolve your case as fairly and quickly as possible.

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