FAQ - Divorce Mediation & Conciliation Services

Child Support

Do you mediate child support or property issues?

A. No.

If you can not help me with child support, who can?

A. Please call the Washington County District Attorney's Office at 503-846-8671.
See also:


What is Conciliation Services? What do you do?

A. Conciliation Services began in 1975 to assist people considering the dissolution of their marriage and provide custody studies to the Court. In 1984 the legislature authorized the Court to provide mediation services to assist couples in reaching agreement about custody and parenting time before a court hearing. The goal is to encourage a sense of responsibility in the couple for making decisions, while saving court time and expense.

Is there a fee for the service?

A. Fees on applications for marriage licenses and petitions for marriage dissolution support our services. People are not charged for counseling or mediation services, however there is a fee for custody studies.

How can I get my spouse to come in?

A. Conciliation Services will see either couples or individuals for counseling services, but only couples are seen for mediation. Services are usually more effective when both parties will participate voluntarily.

Does Washington County require parenting programs for parents?

A. Yes. If you or the other party has filed an annulment, dissolution of marriage, legal separation, petitions to establish or modify custody or parenting time or a Filiation proceeding, AND if you have a child under the age of eighteen (18) you shall attend the family law education program.

All parties shall complete the Family Law Education Program offered by the court-designated providers or a pre-approved alternate education program. Parties shall register for the program or make application to the court for approval of a comparable alternate program within 15 days of receiving notice of this education requirement. Washington County is now using the Kid's Turn education program which also includes the children, and they may be contacted for registration, or site information by calling (503) 846-0665. You may also contact Conciliation Services at (503) 846-3428 if you have problems contacting the Kid's Turn program.

What is mediation?

A. Mediation is a cooperative problem-solving process in which a neutral professional assists the parties to define the issues in the dispute; and to make agreements that are in the best interest of the children. The disputing individuals meet together with a mediator who is trained to help parties solve problems in a cooperative manner. The mediator does not take sides or make decisions for the parents but helps them to communicate and to explore alternative solutions. The mediator may offer suggestions and help parents develop options to resolve the issues, but the final agreement is up to the parties.

Do you do voluntary mediation?

A. Voluntary Mediation is provided to couples seeking to resolve issues about their marriage or mediate conflict about parenting time or custody of children. The service is open to Washington County residents experiencing crisis in marriage, divorce, or post-divorce situation. Parents of minor children who are having difficulty making a workable parenting plan, or who are in conflict about some aspect of co-parenting and have not filed an action regarding their dispute, are eligible for voluntary mediation. (ORS 107.510 through 107.615)

What if the other parent will not agree to come in?

A. Parents in conflict over custody or parenting time with children, who have filed a court action regarding their dispute, will be ordered by the Court to participate in mandated mediation. A mediation packet is available at the circuit court clerks office, or you may review one here. By negotiating an agreement, parents gain control over restructuring the family. After resolving conflicts, the parties confer with their attorneys and the agreement reached becomes part of the final decree. In the event of future disputes, parents may return to mediation.

What happens if we are ordered into mediation?

A. Mediation requires but is not limited to an orientation session and one session with the mediator. The orientation is a group session that includes an introduction by a Judge, videotape on the goals of mediation, a presentation of mediation rules, and a question and answer period. (ORS 107.179, 107.755 through 107.795)

My spouse and I have a restraining order. Do we still have to mediate? Can we still mediate?

A. Mediation is an order of the court and restraining orders are also orders of the court. Both must be obeyed. The fact that there is a restraining order does not mean that you will be unable to reach some agreement. Every effort will be made to insure the safety of all mediation participants. If you have specific questions about your own situation, your lawyer can best answer them. If you do not have a lawyer, our office can answer questions about our procedures, but we can not offer legal advice.

Can you train me to be a mediator?

A. No, we do not do mediation training. You might try contacting Oregon Mediation Association at 503-294-1017 or Oregon Dispute Resolution Commission at 503-378-2877.