If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, neither of you may relish going through a public divorce in court.
Another option to consider is mediation, which has become popular with couples who want to handle their divorce privately with a focus on compromise and communication.
Mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in which an independent third party provides guidance for divorcing parties who work together to create a suitable settlement agreement. The process is less stressful and contentious than litigation and, for that reason alone, better for the children of the marriage.
In addition to a focus on open communication and respectful negotiation, mediation allows the parties to control the outcome of their divorce. Mediation is a private process, and the couples involved make the decisions, not a judge. Since the parties are largely in agreement on major points, mediation is usually a much faster process than litigation and considerably less expensive. The mediator provides access to legal information as needed, keeps the discussions on track and helps with recommendations when sticking points arise.
You must first discuss the idea of mediation with your spouse. You can proceed on this course if the two of you feel you can work together to achieve a satisfactory divorce settlement. Keep in mind that the benefits of mediation continue into the future, especially if you have children. You will find that compromise and communication will serve you well as you build a new family structure in a post-divorce world.