Filing for divorce can bring about unsettling feelings, especially with the prospect of going to court, where a judge can decide the fate of your assets and your time spent with your children. Oftentimes, however, final trial is not the first option when determining how a divorce will be settled. Most couples, lawyers, and judges look foremost to mediation to help divvy up assets and create possession schedules.

Some benefits of mediation include being cost-effective, time efficient, peaceful, and a more personalized experience for spouses and children. Taking your divorce all the way to final trial can be overwhelmingly expensive and time consuming, which can go unrealized in the midst of high emotions at the outset of divorce. Mediation is a sound alternative if couples are looking to keep their attorney fees and costs low and to minimize their time in court, as it is far less expensive to work things out in front of a mediator than a judge, whose time is important and limited. Another plus for working your differences out at mediation is that a mediator is focused on maintaining the peace and finding solutions that benefit both parties. This presents a more manageable option instead of having lawyers battle it out in court over each client’s best interest.

Perhaps most importantly, mediation can foster a more personalized outcome for deciding your parenting rights and duties. Divorce can be tough on your children, so it is important to limit the time spent fighting with your spouse and prioritize how both parents can create a more enjoyable life for their children post-divorce. Accordingly, mediation allows parents to retain greater control over their children’s interests and needs by drafting a custom possession schedule that works for everyone involved. If your divorce dead ends at a final trial, judges will often look to enforce a default standard possession schedule based on their limited time to mull over the effects of every detail, potentially creating disadvantages for the parents and their children. Therefore, when deciding how to proceed with your divorce, you should consider these advantages among several others in favor of mediation.