You know that your marriage is over, but you don’t exactly relish the idea of battling it out with your ex in court. If the thought of a public divorce leaves you anxious or if you can’t imagine spending the time and money necessary to litigate your divorce, uncontested divorce filings are probably the best option.

Unfortunately, filing an uncontested divorce requires that you and your ex agree on all the terms for your divorce. It is relatively unusual for couples separating to remain in perfect agreement about what is fair and reasonable for their relationship, children and possessions.

Thankfully, your options aren’t limited to agreeing on everything or fighting over everything. If you and your ex are capable of working together, you could potentially file an uncontested divorce by working together in mediation to resolve your disagreements.

How does mediation work?

Many people confuse mediation with arbitration, which makes them nervous about considering it. Arbitration involves a third-party listening to the details of the circumstances and then making a binding decision. Mediation, on the other hand, involves a neutral third-party mediator helping you and your ex devise compromises that work for everyone in your family.

In mediation, you and your ex are the ones with all the power and control. You get to set the terms yourselves, and you have the authority to decide where you want to be flexible and where you want to stand firm. The mediator is only there to help facilitate negotiations. They can help you move past unproductive arguments or propose new ideas.

You and your ex will each have your own attorney to represent your best interests and keep the process moving forward productively. It can take a full day or sometimes several days of mediation to resolve all of the outstanding issues in your marriage. From dividing your assets to creating a thorough parenting plan, mediation allows you to address all of the major issues couples argue about in a divorce.

Uncontested divorces are faster and easier

Filing an uncontested divorce means that you present the courts with the terms you agree on in mediation. The courts will review both the asset division and parental responsibility sections to ensure that they comply with state law.

For example, you cannot agree in mediation to waive your spouse’s legal obligation to child support. Mediation agreements that violate the state laws may wind up thrown out instead of upheld. Sometimes the courts will just strike that one section. Other times, they may decide the whole agreement is invalid as a result of an illegal clause or condition.

That is another reason why having an attorney present is important. Once the courts review all of your documentation and you complete any necessary waiting periods, you will then proceed to finalize your divorce without the stress and drama of court hearings.