Under some circumstances, litigation is the only way to handle a divorce. However, mediation is another option that continues to gain in popularity.

Here are four advantages of mediation you may want to consider if your marriage is about to end.

1. Keeps emotions in check

Even if both parties agree that divorce is the best solution for a marriage in trouble, it will likely take an emotional toll. A prolonged court battle is hard on everyone, especially the children of the marriage. Mediation offers a less stressful path to divorce, and studies show that mediation is less difficult for children to manage than litigation.

2. Reduces the financial burden

A court proceeding is expensive; the costs associated with litigating a divorce can mount quickly. Tempers can flare when the divorce reaches the property distribution phase. The more assets there are, the more contentious the proceedings can become, and costs can escalate. On the other hand, mediation is a much more direct approach to divorce, making it considerably more economical.

3. Shortens the divorce process

On average, the traditional divorce process continues for about 18 months. When significant assets exist and couples continue to vie for ownership, the divorce may go on for years. In comparison, the average length of the mediation process is about 90 days. Once the parties come together on all points, the mediator prepares an agreement for them to sign and files it with the court. After that, the divorce is over.

4. Results in improved communication

One of the best advantages of mediation is that couples learn how to communicate. This is vital if there are children because a good co-parenting plan runs on successful communication. Even though the parents are divorcing, they continue to raise the children as a team. Years into the future, they are sure to be glad they opted for mediation so everyone can move forward with confidence, a minimum of emotional pain and hope for a brighter future.