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Divorce has earned a reputation for being combative and often hostile, but in actuality, ending a marriage doesn’t always mean an all-out war with your ex. Today, more and more people are looking to alternative dispute resolution such as mediation to settle their differences outside of the courtroom.

In addition to being faster and cheaper than the traditional legal process, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) allows two parties to work together to develop their own solutions. In divorce mediation, a neutral third-party serves as a mediator to help you and your ex create the terms of your divorce.

A divorce mediator will help you and your ex communicate effectively and come to agreements on matters such as property division, child custody, and spousal or child support. Mediation may be the right option for you if:

You want to set your own terms

In traditional divorce proceedings, a judge sets the terms of your divorce – which may not yield favorable outcomes. In mediation, you and your ex have the freedom and flexibility to tailor solutions specifically to your needs. The mediator will help guide your discussion to reach agreements concerning your arrangements.

You and your ex can work together

You don’t have to be best friends with your ex to make mediation work. However, you will need the ability to work together and compromise. Mediation will allow you and your ex to resolve differences of opinion amicably and choose solutions that work for you both. If you and your ex share children and must remain in contact, mediation can set the foundation for a successful co-parent relationship.

You value privacy

The only parties involved in mediation are you, your ex and your mediator. Unlike divorce litigation, which will eventually become public record, everything discussed in mediation will remain private. Even if you do end up going to court, no notes or records from your mediation can be used in your divorce proceedings.

While divorce mediation isn’t right for all couples, it does offer several advantages to those hoping to solve their problems outside of court. With the help of a mediator, you and your ex can set a cooperative tone for this new chapter of your relationship.