For couples who share children, custody issues can be the most contentious parts of a divorce or a breakup for an unmarried couple with kids. Instead of letting your emotions get the better of you and fighting with the other parent, it often benefits you and your children if you can find a way to work together during a divorce and custody proceedings.

Mediation can be a way for the two of you to resolve outstanding parenting issues and set custody terms everyone in your family will be happy about in the long run. Mediation actually offers a host of benefits when compared with traditional, contested divorce proceedings.

Mediation puts you in the driver’s seat

If you and your ex can’t agree on anything and you wind up going to court to litigate the terms of your child custody arrangements, the judge will be the person who has the authority and control to make major decisions. You and your ex won’t have much say over the final determination. In mediation, as long as you reach an agreement, you and your ex have absolute control over everything.

Mediation keeps your kids far away from conflict

Needing to testify in court or even listening to custody proceedings can be very stressful for the kids and your family. If you go through mediation, the kids won’t have to worry about picking a parent in court or taking a side.

In fact, they likely won’t need to be present for any kind of court event at all. The two of you can set terms behind closed doors, relegating court to the sole function of officializing the terms the two of you set.

Finally, mediation can be a great solution because it allows you to file a faster uncontested divorce that will ultimately be more affordable than litigating each detail of your custody arrangements in most cases.