Divorce is often a process riddled with conflict, arguments and stress, as a result of the emotional response of the people going through the end of their marriage. However, while divorce often becomes contentious, it does not need to be a pitched battle between spouses.

Particularly for couples who share minor children, making every effort to limit the conflict involved in a divorce could benefit everyone in the family. Provided that there aren’t major issues in your marriage such as a history of abuse or manipulation, divorce mediation could be a useful tool for reducing conflict.

Mediation requires that you work together instead of fighting each other

Mediation is a conflict-resolution tool that empowers both parties to fight for their most important issues while compromising on the terms that matter less to them. Ideally, mediation involves both spouses, their individual attorneys and an experienced mediator to help them find workable compromises.

Instead of digging in your heels and fighting over every penny and moment of parenting time, the right approach to mediation is to find solutions that you can both live with long-term after the divorce. You may need to get creative in coming up with solutions on particular issues, but the idea is to work together for an outcome that benefits your entire family.

Mediation reduces the exposure your children have to the divorce

Even in a relatively amicable court-based divorce, your children may experience substantial stress. In some cases, the judge may want to speak with the children about their preferences either in their chambers or during hearings in the courtroom. Children may also wind up sitting through testimony given by either parent, which could include information that damages their relationships with their parents.

Entering into mediation means that you can avoid court hearings and the most stressful parts of divorce for your children. Your children should not be present during mediation, nor will they necessarily need to give any sort of input or feedback. Instead, the parents will need to work together to set terms that lead to a successful parenting plan.

Mediation can help the parents realign their relationship

Divorce proceedings often devolve into a him vs. her battle to see who can take the most assets or cause the most heartache for the other. At the end of a divorce, those parents who have bitterly fought will need to find a way to relate to each other positively to share parental responsibilities in the future.

Unlike divorce court, which can worsen an already damaged relationship, mediation can help former spouses adjust their attitude toward one another and build something positive that can serve as the foundation for a healthy and functional co-parenting relationship in the future.