Ending a marriage is difficult, but it does not have to entail a dramatic court battle. If the circumstances are right, you and your spouse may choose mediation to settle your divorce.

While mediation can lead to a less acrimonious divorce, it is not a do-it-yourself option. You should still consult professionals and receive guidance throughout the process. Indiana law states that mediators help parties reach an agreement, but do not make binding decisions.

Speed

With litigation, you must wait for a court date. With mediation, you, your spouse and the mediator schedule sessions that are convenient for the three of you. Settling all matters may take multiple mediation sessions. Still, many couples find that mediation speeds up the divorce process.

Conflict

Mediation is generally less contentious than court. In court, you and your spouse are adversaries vying for the judge’s agreement and approval. In mediation, you and your spouse are colleagues working together to end the marriage. Negotiating can be less emotionally draining than arguing.

Not only does reduced conflict during the divorce means less stress for you, it also means less tension for your children. Moreover, it sets the stage for working together in the future. That is essential if you and your spouse need to parent together in the years to come.

Control

Ideally, you and your spouse leave mediation satisfied with your agreement. You will not get everything you want, but you should get most of what is most important to you. The final outcome is in your hands, not the hands of a judge.

If mediation is unsuccessful, you have the option of pursuing litigation. If you were able to come to agreement in some areas, you can focus on the remaining areas of dispute while in court.