A divorcing couple's decision on how they divorce is very important. Mediated divorce is designed to promote civility and preserve goodwill, and can lead to years of successful co-parenting and diminish the chances of a prolonged struggle. Attorney-led negotiation and mediation in the midst of litigation can also produce positive outcomes for each individual and the family members.
The mediated divorce process works to achieve specific goals: to reach settlement without litigation; to promote civility and empowerment; favor informed and creative approaches to resolution over judicially imposed resolutions. In mediated divorce, the spouses often postpone filing a complaint for divorce until they have a signed settlement, allowing them to focus their negotiations more on their individual needs and less on what a judge might decide. In addition, the spouses in a mediated divorce work with a neutral mediator to reach a settlement, either with or without their attorneys being present, depending on the issues and the parties (attorneys are always actively involved in a collaborative divorce). If the spouses are in divorce mediation, their attorneys will provide advice and counsel either before and/or during the mediation session.