Sometimes divorces go relatively smoothly. In those cases, both partners know what they want and are willing to divide their assets fairly or work out a good schedule for visitation with children. But in any divorce, there is the potential for conflict, and often these situations can best be handled through divorce mediation.
For example, a couple may agree that divorce is the best option for them but may be unsure about who should leave the marital home. For some cases, it is better for both parties to stay in the home as they work out the details of their marital split. In other cases, the parties cannot get along well enough to make this possible and one partner must leave. Having a mediator hear out both sides and offer a reasoned solution can clarify matters for everyone involved and reduce the burden on both parties.
Another positive aspect of divorce mediation is that you can handle matters of child custody or property division according to your own schedule, unlike a situation in which you have to wait for court hearings. A divorce settlement reached through mediation is also more likely to satisfy each spouse's needs than if the divorce decisions were made in court.
Some divorce attorneys are certified mediators, and they can help divorcing parties come to an agreement regarding temporary or permanent living arrangements, payments of alimony or child support, and other important issues. Having a third party act as a kind of referee can help both individuals, who are not otherwise likely to see eye to eye, work out a plan for the future that benefits everyone involved.
Source: Chicago Tribune, "Should wife stay in house with husband in advance of divorce?" Ilyce Glink and Samuel Tamkin, Jan. 27, 2013