A protracted, contentious divorce is an exhausting and expensive process. Many people don’t relish the idea of listening to their former spouse outline their worst behavior during marriage in from a courtroom, which could include their children. Collaborative divorce is an excellent alternative for those who believe they can reach mutual agreements with a former spouse.

Collaborative divorce is also called an uncontested divorce. If you and your former spouse both agree that dissolution of your marriage is in everyone’s best interest, you can set the terms and details of your divorce.

It’s also possible that you and your spouse don’t agree on the terms of your divorce, but you believe compromise is possible. Maybe you can’t quite agree on issues like asset division or child custody and visitation, but you both agree that ending the marriage is the best idea for everyone involved. In that situation, working together through divorce mediation may be your best option. In mediation, you and your former spouse will be able to sit down together and process the details of the divorce together, guided by a professional, neutral third party. It can be much easier than going through the courts.

Mediation or collaborative divorce gives you more control

When you divorce through the courts, the judge who hears your case sets the final terms of your divorce. Those terms are typically binding. You may feel confident that you’ll get the assets or custody arrangements you want, but the judge has the final say in what happens. That can leave you, your ex and your children all upset with the outcome of your divorce.

Mediation, on the other hand, puts all the power into the hands of the couple divorcing. You and your former spouse, along with your individual attorneys, will sit in a room with a neutral mediator and discuss goals, hopes and desires, as well as all the major points of contention that have arisen so far. You and your former spouse can talk things through and find mutually agreeable compromises for the most important issues in your divorce. So long as you reach an agreement together, mediation can offer you and your former spouse complete control over how asset division and custody gets handled.

Working with an attorney is important

Just because you’re going through mediation or collaborative divorce instead of court doesn’t mean you won’t need an attorney. Having your own divorce lawyer helps ensure that you receive fair treatment and push for the most equitable outcome to the mediation or negotiation process. Your attorney can advocate for you when you’re flustered and advise you about when to compromise and when to stand your ground.