You’re getting divorced for a reason. It could have been substance abuse, infidelity or just your ability to relate to your partner degrading over time. Whatever the cause, chances are that you and your spouse don’t agree on everything about divorcing. That can mean that feel like you have no option but to go through the courts. With a stay on divorce proceedings in many areas across New Jersey, that could leave you feeling trapped in an unhappy marriage.

There’s good news, however, for those willing to work with their spouse. If you can agree to terms for critical things like asset division, child support and child custody, you may still be able to get divorced in the near future. For many couples, going through divorce mediation is the best way to resolve disagreements and get a divorce while the courts aren’t handling them.

Mediation gives you space to find a compromise

Many times in divorces, each spouse fights for what he or she wants, without consideration of the other person’s needs or feelings. Mediation, on the other hand, helps you and your spouse discuss various issues and find ways to meet on common ground. You can both make a case for your personal stance on the unresolved issues and then try to negotiate some kind of compromise.

Divorcing in the courts typically has an aim to fairly and equitably split both assets and child custody, but every case is unique. For some families, the outcome to a court-based divorce can end up surprising everyone involved. After all, the courts have the final say about every major issue.

Mediation, on the other hand, can empower you and your spouse to talk calmly and openly about your needs and desires during the divorce. Everything from your retirement accounts to splitting up holiday visitation with the kids can be openly discussed. Once you understand why your spouse is asking for something, it may feel easier to work together to find a functional solution.

A neutral party can help provide outside perspective

Your attorney works for you and pushes for your best outcome. The same is true of your spouse’s attorney. Deciding to work with a neutral third party (a mediator) can help you both better understand the outside perspective of what’s happening in your marriage and divorce.

Mediation can cost a fraction of what a court-based divorce does. More importantly, if you’re in a location where divorces aren’t currently moving through the family courts in New Jersey, mediation may be your only option for finalizing your divorce in a timely manner. If you want to divorce and believe it’s possible for you and your spouse to work through the disagreements about custody and asset division, mediation is your best option.