FAQ - Divorce Mediation & Conciliation Services

Child Support

Do you mediate child support or property issues?

No. We only mediate custody and parenting time plans

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

Division of Child Support (link below)

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Can you train me to be a mediator?

No, we do not do mediation training. You might try contacting Oregon Mediation Association or Clackamas County Resolution Services (links below)

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Do you provide voluntary mediation?

Voluntary and mandated mediation is provided to help parents resolve custody and parenting time disputes. This service is provided to Washington County residences with minor children experiencing challenges in developing or implementing their custody and parenting time arrangements.

Does Washington County require parenting programs for parents?

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 are required to 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. Kids Turn program is administered by Youth Contact (see link below)

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How can I get my spouse to come in?

If parents are in dispute over custody and parenting time, services are usually more effective when parties involved with an active domestic relations case are mandated to participate in mediation orientation and mediation.

Is there a fee for the service?

Local and Statewide fees are collected and distributed through the State; therefore, the following services are provided for FREE:

*Orientation and up to two mediation services
*Co-parent, couples or marital counseling - up to four sessions

There is a fee for additional services.

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

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. Conciliation Services has protocols in place to ensure safety. Please call conciliation services with any concerns or questions regarding safety protocols.

What happens if we are ordered into mediation?

Mediation requires but is not limited to an orientation session and one session with the mediator. Orientation takes place in a class like fashion in a small conference room. It is facilitated by one of our staff mediators and includes:
  • 1. A power-point presentation
  • 2. A Judge's presentation
  • 3. An overview of mediation
  • 4. A summary of expectations and parameters
  • 5. An opportunity to ask questions
  • 6. Scheduling mediation appointments

A limited number of mediation appointments are available at approximately 10:00-12:00pm after the conclusion of orientation on Monday mornings.

There are no mediation sessions after orientation on Thursdays.

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

Services are usually more effective when parties with an active domestic relations case are Court mandated to participate in mediation orientation and mediation. Parents may also seek a court order for both parties to attend co-parent counseling or our New Ways for Families high conflict class. Fees may apply.

What is Conciliation Services? What do you do?

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 empower parents to make decisions regarding custody and parenting time based on the best interest of the child. In addition, successful resolution by parents will save them both time and money.

What is co-parent counseling?

Co-parent counseling is not mediation. It is an opportunity for parents to address issues that are often not addressed in their custody and parenting plan agreement. Examples of the topics parents bring to co-parent counseling are:
  • Communication
  • Parenting Style
  • Specific challenging topics that need to be addressed outside of court
  • Changes or concerns that have arisen since their mediation agreement was finalized.

  • If parents have or had an open court case they may access their mediation agreement was finzalized

What is mediation?

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.

What is the difference between Mediation Orientation and Mediation?

Mediation orientation is an informational session that is required before you mediate. It is held in a conference room in a class like fashion. You are required to register for a particular orientation presentation date and complete paperwork.

Mediation occurs in the mediator's office at conciliation services and is attended by you and your co-parent. Many of the questions regarding mediation are answered during the mediation orientation.

Parents are more prepared to use their mediation time effectively after that have acquired relevant information at orientation.