What does it look like to end a marriage? Most Georgia couples already have a preconceived notion of what divorce should look like and how it should proceed, but few realize that they have other options. Rather than slog through the litigation process, some couples could see better results from using an alternative dispute resolution like mediation.

Mediation is a process in which a couple works out their own terms for their separation. This is accomplished with the help of a third-party mediator. This neutral party will not make decisions for couples, but will help guide and facilitate productive negotiations. By approaching divorce through this process, couples are generally able to achieve one of the biggest benefits of mediation — greater control over the outcome of their situation. Although family law judges do their best to make the most well-informed decisions, divorcing couples might better understand the long-term impacts of their divorce settlement.

In most cases, mediation is also quicker than more traditional approaches to divorce. Many couples are able to hammer things out in a matter of weeks or even days, although complex cases can sometimes take a bit longer. The process is also more cost-effective and confidential, which depending on the situation can be extremely important.

The more traditional process of approaching divorce through litigation can be more than just time-consuming and expensive — it is also emotionally draining. Although ending a marriage is not easy, mediation can help divorcing couples preserve important aspects of their relationship, which might be especially important for parents. Georgia couples who are interested in mediation may want to further familiarize themselves with the process to better understand how it might apply to their unique situation.