If you and your spouse have decided to divorce, you are likely hesitant to put yourselves through a long, confusing legal battle that could easily end up with an outcome that satisfies neither of you. For couples that seek an amicable alternative to divorce, mediation may be the answer.

Mediation is a method of out-of-court alternative dispute resolution in which couples work with a impartial third-party mediator to reach a divorce settlement. There are many benefits to mediation. First, it avoids many of the common pitfalls of a bitter divorce battle by encouraging couples to work together to achieve a result that satisfies both of them and that is best for their family.

Certainly, many of the couples who enter mediation are not immediately in agreement over the potential outcomes of their divorce (and if they are, they probably shouldn't be in mediation in the first place). But if they work with a skilled mediator, that person will be able to guide the couple through any disputes they may have. He or she will direct the couple away from any potential fights or disagreements and toward a solution that will make both spouses happy.

In turn, this will minimize any feelings of bitterness and resentment, and allow the couple to remain on amicable terms in the months and years following their divorce. This is especially positive for couples who have children together.

Other benefits of mediation include a significant savings in terms of both time and money. In addition, it allows couples to tailor their agreement to their family's best interests, instead of remaining at the mercy of an Ohio family court judge who is bound by the state family laws.

Source: The Huffington Post, "What Most People Don't Know About Divorce Mediation," J. Richard Kulerski and Kari Cornelison, Jan. 24, 2012