Understanding Your Options

There are many ways for clients to work through the decisions related to a separation/divorce. This page provides an overview: 




Most people (70-85%) of couples getting divorced in Oregon do not use lawyers.

A kitchen table divorce (also know as pro-se or self-filing) is one where both spouses complete the paperwork themselves. You can have a drafter (usually an attorney  or paralegal) assist you. Some individuals and couples choose to consult with financial or mental health professionals, on a one-time or as needed basis.


mediation & Co-mediation

Mediation is a voluntary, confidential process by which both parties are in charge of making agreements. The mediator (or mediators) are neutral, there to facilitate agreements between parties. Mediator do not give legal advice, or make decisions. 

Main categories of mediators include attorneys mediators and non-attorney mediators (such as financial mediators and mental health mediators). 

Co-Mediation is a process by which two mediators (generally from different professions) are in the same room together with clients at the same time. 



Collaborative Divorce is a structured, voluntary process in which spouses settle without resorting to litigation. In A Collaborative Divorce:

  1. The parties sign a collaborative participation agreement describing the nature and scope of their divorce process.

  2. The parties voluntarily disclose all information which is relevant and material to their divorce (i.e. assets and liabilities);

  3. The parties agree to use good faith efforts in their negotiations to reach a mutually acceptable settlement;

  4. Each party must be represented by a lawyer whose representation terminates upon the undertaking of any contested court proceeding;

  5. The parties may engage mental health and financial professionals whose engagement terminates upon the undertaking of any contested court proceeding; and

  6. The parties may jointly engage other experts as needed.

For more information, please visit the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals website: collaborativepractice.com




Clients each have an attorney representing them, and the attorneys are assisting the clients by getting to agreements by sending proposals back and forth, attorney phone calls, and possibly scheduling settlement meetings or attorney-attended mediation. 

For spouses who cannot come to agreements, the court system was created to make decisions for them. 

Kathleen Provides Three Avenues for Support

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