For many individuals, hiring an experienced divorce lawyer is the best way to handle the challenges of divorce proceedings. An experienced divorce lawyer can help separating couples file divorce papers, settle custody disputes, and divide property with minimal confusion — or confrontation. In fact, whenever it’s possible to avoid a lengthy, disputed divorce, choosing a divorce attorney who can guide you through divorce mediation is an excellent idea. In uncontested, simple cases, alternatives like divorce mediation might be a viable way to peacefully and efficiently end a marriage. Every year, more couples are embracing this option as the least destructive way to end their marriage. What is Divorce Mediation? Divorce mediation allows couples to settle their divorce case without appearing in family court. An unbiased third party, called the mediator, meets with both clients and their attorneys to try and settle the issues. Together, the two parties and their counsel come to an agreement regarding the terms of their divorce. The mediator does not try to help either side “win,” and instead helps the couple work towards divorce terms that satisfy both parties. What Are the Benefits of Divorce Mediation? Often, a mediated divorce is the best case scenario for both spouses and their family. They can save time, money, and emotional labor. It’s a chance for the parties to come up with solutions instead of leaving the decisions up to a judge who knows little about your case. Less Stress for Children In general, litigation can take months to process, and custody disputes especially can lead to confusion and sadness among children. If two parents both want to end a marriage with minimal disruption to children’s lifestyles, mediation might be a great option. Rather than trying to win in a custody dispute, or haggle with judges and lawyers to construct a “fair” visitation schedule, both parties can work towards a solution that primarily benefits the children. Through mediated discussions, children and parents can prioritize family while also ending a marriage. Less Expensive Than Going to Trial Frequently, divorce mediation can help both parties save money on lawyer fees. Divorce mediation generally costs between 40% – 60% less than divorce litigation. Additionally, mediation can be quicker than going through family court, which also helps each party save money that may have otherwise been lost through missed work, child care costs, or transportation expenses. Greater Flexibility Finally, divorce mediation gives both parties a greater control over the terms of their divorce. Each party can seek a mutually beneficial agreement through civil conversation, rather than trying to “beat” the other in a court. Additionally, parties can transition from mediation to litigation if discussions aren’t productive or if conflict arises. By working with a firm that offers experienced divorce lawyers who know the mediation process, a divorcing couple can keep their options open as they begin the separation process. According to a study published in the Journal of Family Issues, 19.2% of couples say they divorced due to incompatibility, and while only 10.6% split due to drinking or drug abuse. Though some relationships might be better suited than others for divorce mediation, any divorcing couple can try mediation first. If you’re looking for a peaceful, affordable, and flexible way to end a marriage, consider divorce mediation. For more information, contact the Affordable Divorce Center today.