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If you and your spouse are facing divorce, you must choose a process. If you cannot agree on major points such as sharing custody of your child, litigation may be the answer.

However, if the two of you can work as a team to reach a settlement agreement, you might consider divorce mediation, a process that has many benefits and is also easier on children.

About mediation

A type of alternative dispute resolution, mediation is a process that enables couples to work out their own divorce agreement without having to appear in court. It is also faster than litigation, and usually considerably less expensive. Although a trained mediator is in charge of the sessions, the mediator will not take sides. The goal of mediation is to aid in the process of creating a divorce settlement agreement, one that includes your child-raising capabilities. The mediator can offer recommendations to help resolve issues and provide access to legal information when needed. The parties have control over the outcome of their own divorce rather than having to follow the decisions of a judge.

Better for children

Rather than having to go before a judge and air their differences in public, many couples appreciate the privacy mediation affords. The more relaxed and respectful environment is conducive to compromise and communication, which is better for children who so easily pick up on conflict. Mediation is a less stressful divorce option than litigation, which is better for everyone, especially the children.

Future considerations

If you and your spouse believe you can work together to create your settlement agreement, mediation is worth your consideration. An added benefit is that you can use your newfound communication skills with your children and with each other as you build a new family structure in a post-divorce world.