Going through a divorce is a difficult time for everyone. Aside from the emotional toll it takes on your family, divorce proceedings can be extremely expensive, time-consuming and feel like a no-win scenario.

But, unlike standard divorce litigation, divorce mediation uses a neutral third-party with a thorough understanding of family law and divorce to help both parties find solutions that benefit them equally. The mediator doesn’t take sides or make any decisions for you. They simply serve to guide you and your ex-spouse to resolve disagreements amicably and outside of court.

It costs less

Divorce can be a costly process. Did you know that Massachusetts has the fourth highest divorce costs in the country compared to other states? In fact, the average cost of a divorce without children comes out to $15,900. If you have kids, the cost becomes even more staggering with the average amounting to $23,900.

It’s estimated that divorce mediation costs 25% to 40% less than a contested divorce. Many ex-couples will even choose to split the cost of their mediation rather than pay for separate attorneys.

It takes less time

While every case is different, divorce litigation can often go on for months, sometimes years. Between conducting all communication through your attorneys, waiting for a hearing and court dates getting postponed, normal divorce proceedings can easily turn into a drawn-out and tension-filled process.

With mediation, you and your ex schedule your sessions on your terms. All communications and solutions happen in real-time together, which allows you and your ex to control the timeline.

It promotes collaboration

Divorce is hostile by nature, but the gloves don’t have to come off just because your marriage is ending. While divorce litigation pits you and your ex-partner against each other and tries to assign blame, mediation is the exact opposite.

Mediation relies on finding solutions that suit both of you. It may be beneficial to work together and compromise on important concerns in spite of your ending marriage – especially if you share kids and will still be active in each other’s lives.

It allows you more control

In regular divorce, it is left up to the court to decide the fate of your arrangements – which you may not like or find to be fair. In divorce mediation, you and your ex-partner ultimately make all the decisions regarding your arrangements.

From child custody and support to alimony and the division of marital property, you and your ex-partner will negotiate and settle on mutual solutions. As long as you both agree, the arrangements can be as creative or untraditional as you’d like.

Divorce isn’t an easy process for anyone. But, with the help of a mediator, you and your ex can respectfully find solutions that will work for your family’s needs.