The reception at the psychologist. A young couple arguing among themselves.

When divorce gets ugly, both sides fight hard for what they want. The result is often painful, time-consuming and expensive — with one side feeling like the final outcome wasn’t fair. There are, of course, cases in which this kind of divorce seems unavoidable. But it’s amazing how much can be achieved if both parties are willing to consider a better way.

Divorce mediation is a tool that works not only for complicated divorces with young children, more financial assets and higher levels of tension — it also works for relatively straightforward cases in which one or both sides might be confused as to how to proceed, and want to make sure the outcome is as fair and mutually beneficial as possible.

But before you buy into the idea of divorce mediation, it’s natural to want to know specifically how it will improve your situation, and how it will make the process of divorce more constructive overall. No two divorces are exactly the same, but here are three specific ways divorce mediation can help in a very large number of cases.

1. It’s more economical

Divorce mediation can be more economical simply because it allows divorcing parties to reach key agreements related to co-parenting, finances and other important areas. If these aspects are worked out amongst lawyers and judges in a divorce hearing, the overall cost of divorce will certainly be higher. Many couples today are more budget-conscious than ever, and always looking for more economical ways to get things done. It may seem strange to bring this mindset to the process of divorce itself, but the results can be much better economically, in terms of the quality of the agreements reached, and the overall cost of reaching these agreements and arriving at a final judgment of divorce.

2. It takes less time

Ever heard the term “long, drawn-out divorce?” This is something most people would rather avoid if possible. When divorce becomes a reality for two individuals, it’s better when the legal process goes swiftly. But this can only really happen if key agreements have already been reached. The role of the divorce mediator is to bring years of experience with all of the different dimensions of divorce — including financial, legal, parental and personal.

3. It leads to better long-term results in terms of co-parenting

Divorcing parents of minors should think very carefully before entering into a legal battle over custody. There are, of course, cases in which legal battles are very much called for. But regardless of the justification, it’s never easy on children and minors. Professional mediation efforts are worthwhile, if for no other reason than this. In the midst of a tense divorce process, people sometimes forget that constructive, long-term co-parenting is going to be the best possible solution for children. This may (and probably will) involve discussion specific issues, and separating “requirements” from “preferences” in terms of co-parenting rules.

No two cases alike

As mentioned earlier, no two cases are exactly alike. But it’s worth knowing that in a large number of cases, divorce mediation is a viable route to better overall results for the people involved, especially any children the marriage may have produced.