Mediated divorces have long been growing in popularity — for good reason. A mediated split has the potential of reducing the overall cost of a divorce and creating workable solutions to sticking points that might otherwise lead to litigation.

But mediation has several lesser-known benefits, as well. According to a significant body of research, here are some of the proven benefits of mediation:

It’s easier to focus on the children.

A litigated divorce is often like a chess match where one player constantly has to think ahead and anticipate the other player’s moves. That makes it far too easy to lose sight of what may be most important to them both: the needs of their children.

In mediation, there’s much less urgency and parents report that they can focus better on their children’s emotional needs during the process. Couples who went through mediation generally felt that the negotiated custody and support agreements were better for everyone in the family.

It can help participants understand their real concerns.

During a litigated divorce, people are forced to react quickly as events unfold. That doesn’t leave them much time to examine the root of their issues — or even their own feelings.

The mediation process often helps couples identify their real concerns and underlying problems. Doing so can pave the way to far better outcomes and provide a sense of closure that litigation cannot.

It can leave both halves of a couple feeling okay about the results.

One of the biggest complaints about the divorce process is that it often seems unfair to both sides — particularly where the division of assets and spousal support are concerned.

Those who go through mediation, however, typically report that they felt like they had equal influence over the final outcome of their splits, believed their support agreements were fair and were comfortable with the division of property.

If you’re facing the end of your marriage or civil union, why not give mediation a chance? Like many others before you, you may be pleasantly surprised at the outcome.