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If you and your spouse are facing divorce, the thought of having to go through a long and possibly bitter courtroom battle is a less than appealing prospect.

As a couple with young children and significant assets, you may consider mediation as a divorce option that has merit on many levels.

About mediation

Mediation is a type of alternate dispute resolution that has achieved popularity among divorcing couples of all economic backgrounds. The process takes place outside of court in a more relaxed office environment where couples work together to create their divorce agreement with the guidance of a trained mediator, a neutral third party who helps spouses brainstorm, work through disagreements and develop solutions for each issue.

High points

For couples with significant assets who face a complex property division process, mediation presents a welcome alternative to litigation. Expense is a factor for everyone, and in a traditional court proceeding, the cost of a divorce is usually not known until the process ends—and it may come as a shock. With mediation, parties have a good idea of the number of hours it takes to reach a settlement and a reasonable estimate of the cost, which is normally considerably less than the price of litigation. It is also a much less time-consuming divorce option. Another feather in the mediation cap is that it is a private process whereas a divorce in court is a public matter.

Works out well for children

The welfare of the children is a top priority in any divorce, and because it is a less hostile and confrontational process compared with litigation, mediation is less stressful for children. As a more peaceful and civilized method of ending a marriage, mediation can establish the guidelines for family relationships in a post-divorce world.

Benefits of teamwork

As a private and efficient process that is less expensive, less time-consuming and less stressful than litigation, mediation has become a popular divorce option, even for high-asset couples. If you and your soon-to-be-ex believe you can work together to create a mutually satisfactory divorce settlement, mediation may be the right choice for you.