One of the things that makes divorce so unpleasant for so many Americans is the need to appear in court, before a judge, often with lawyers present, and hash out your problems as a matter of public record. The experience of a contentious divorce is already stressful enough, as you grapple with disagreements around child custody and finances. This is made even more difficult by the classic “courtroom” experience.

Thankfully, there are alternatives to consider. Collaborative divorce and divorce mediation can play a huge part in turning your divorce from a negative to a neutral or even a positive experience. But what are the specific advantages to keeping your divorce out of court? Let’s break it down.

1. Lower stress

As mentioned, divorce can be very stressful when it reaches the courtroom. Essentially, both parties argue their side of the story, and leave the rest in the hands of a judge. This is a very stressful situation as each side wonders whether the outcome will favor them. Collaborative divorce NJ (or wherever you live) keeps the power in your hands, and gives you a clear process for navigating toward a better outcome. This makes the entire process of divorce a great deal less stressful for everyone involved.

2. Lower cost

One of the tragic things about many divorces is that so much money is spent on legal fees, especially if each side hires a lawyer to argue their case. Sometimes people even go into debt in order to pay lawyers to argue their case. This isn’t to say that lawyers are never needed in some divorces – but on the whole, if you could both avoid legal fees and reach toward more constructive solutions, everyone might be a whole lot better off!

3. Better long-term results

Especially when children are involved, collaborative divorce often leads to better co-parenting outcomes over the long term. That’s because the process of the divorce was respectful and collaborative, rather than each side arguing their case and relying on a judge to make the final determination. In many situations, children are absolutely the main reason to seek divorce mediation and collaborative divorce, instead of doing things the hard way.

4. Privacy for your family

Divorce proceedings in court are often a matter of public record, depending on where you live. This is far from ideal for most people. One of the huge advantages of collaborative divorce is that you avoid court proceedings altogether (aside from the filing of paperwork), and your privacy remains intact as a result.

How to take the next steps

If you or someone you know are involved in a divorce, it’s important to know that there are tools and options that can get you a better result in nearly every respect. A lot of people go through with a traditional courtroom divorce because they believe their differences are irreconcilable, but a trained divorce mediator can be an excellent way to move toward a more mutually agreeable solution. Any divorce mediator you work with should be fully licensed and qualified, and it helps of they have financial credentials too, such as the Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA), to give you the best possible chance of finding the best way forward financially. Most of all, look for someone with whom you both feel comfortable and can built a rapport. Good luck!