Family law has evolved. When couples first began thinking of ending their marriage decades ago, there was really only one option for divorce. If you chose to get divorced, you likely faced a long and potentially contentious courtroom battle.

Although traditional litigation remains an option, for others, mediation provides a viable alternative.

What is mediation?

Mediation is defined by Black’s Law Dictionary as “the act of a third person who interferes between two contending parties with a view to reconcile them or persuade them to adjust or settle their dispute.”

Basically, in layman’s terms, this means that a neutral third party helps a couple to develop a divorce settlement agreement.

Why should I consider mediation?

In the right situation, mediation can offer a number of benefits. Two of the more common reasons, as noted in a publication by the legal experts with the American Bar Association, include:

  • Cost-effective. Mediation often costs less than traditional litigation for a divorce. A number of factors contribute to the cost of a divorce. The time it takes for the process to unfold is one and mediation is often much, much more efficient compared to the process required for litigation, which includes scheduling court hearings.
  • Beneficial for families. Those moving forward with a divorce when children are present in the marriage can also benefit from mediation. This process is generally less contentious than litigation, allowing the parents to end their marriage relationship while still establishing their ongoing parental relationship on good footing.

Although these two benefits hold true for many couples, they do not work for every divorce. If you are considering a divorce, it is wise to seek legal counsel. Your attorney can review all possible options, including mediation, and help you find the process that works best for your situation.