Many couples realize a divorce only has to be as messy as they make it. In some cases, one partner may need some time to get used to the idea, but even potentially complex divorces can occur responsibly and civilly.

For those who do hope to achieve a civil and fair divorce, divorce mediation is an excellent tool to consider. No matter how a couple chooses to approach dissolving their marriage, there are many complex issues they must address in detail. In traditionally litigated divorce, each spouse may hire an attorney or several to negotiate each inch of the couple’s life and how to divide it. Contrastingly, mediation allows spouses to work together with a neutral third party mediator who is trained to guide them through each aspect of the divorce and reach agreements that fairly benefit and protect both spouses’ rights.

Both spouses win in mediation

A professional divorce mediator understands how important it is to reach fair agreements, and has experience enough to understand what is fair and acceptable in areas where a couple may find it difficult to think objectively.

Even when a couple wants to keep things as civil as they can, divorce can prove more difficult than couples expect. Having a professional mediator on hand to help both spouses thoughtfully consider each issue fairly can prove indispensable.

Mediators also allow a couple to work out these agreements in a neutral, private setting. In many cases, a couple can avoid ever appearing in court. This greatly benefits those who want to keep the process out of public record to protect their privacy, as well as parents who want to work out a divorce responsibly, for the sake of their children.

It is also important to understand that both spouses must come to the table willing to compromise fairly. A mediator helps ensure that neither side sacrifices significantly more than the other, even over complicated property division issues or custody concerns.

Don’t wait to set the tone you want for your divorce

A divorce that could resolve civilly may devolve into protracted fighting if one or both spouses do not intentionally choose to set the tone for the process. If you believe that your divorce can be fair and civil, don’t wait too long to be the one to set its direction.

Far too many couples waste time, resources and heartache on an ugly divorce that could have been a simple, fair process. Be sure that you take all the steps necessary to achieve the divorce you need while protecting your rights and priorities.