Mediation is a dispute resolution tactic often used by parents as they get divorced. Rather than going to court, they work together with a trained mediator to find solutions to the divorce. They get to make the decisions, rather than having a judge make them. Therefore, this often goes more smoothly than a court-based divorce.

What is the key to making mediation work? Couples need to focus on communication and cooperation. Those are perhaps the two biggest areas that can make or break the mediation process.

After all, the goal of mediation, as noted above, is to work together. Cooperation is implied. If you cannot cooperate, that’s when a judge has to step in and make decisions because someone needs to. Parents who want to avoid that may have to set their personal feelings aside and agree to cooperate with their spouse, who will soon be their ex.

Communication is a critical part of this process because both sides need to have all possible information regarding schedules, assets, financial means, childcare desires and everything else. You cannot hold anything back, and neither can your spouse. Only when you both fully understand each other’s positions can you make decisions together properly.

Doing all of this can be hard. You and your spouse may not be on the best of terms as you get divorced. If you want a simpler divorce resolution tactic that minimizes conflict and gives you the power to make decisions about your own life, though, it is something worth considering. Make sure you know about all of the options you have.