In many people’s minds, divorce looks like shouting matches in a courtroom. Both parties are angry and bitter – and in the end, no one is happy. The good news is that your divorce doesn’t have to be like this.

Having a mediator take part in your discussions outside of court can help keep things peaceful and get better results. You may find it hard to believe that this option will work for you, but you may not have all the information you need. Here are some common misconceptions about mediation:

We fight too much for mediation to work

If your marriage is ending, you may not be too happy with your spouse right now. It might be tough to even be in the same room as them – let alone discuss the details of your separation. How can you make mediation work if you will just end up fighting again?

Mediators exist precisely for this situation. A mediator can function as a liaison for you and your spouse—so you don’t have to sit in the same room with them or communicate with them directly at all. Mediators know when to separate people, and how to redirect the discussion to focus on the important issues rather than trivial fights. Your mediator will have seen plenty of disagreements before – so they will be ready to help you through yours.

We won’t get to make any decisions ourselves

You don’t need to worry about having your wishes ignored. Your mediator will pay close attention to your concerns. After hearing each side of the story, the mediator will provide guidance to both parties and hopefully resolve outstanding disputes. Ultimately, however, it is you and your spouse who decide whether to accept or reject the mediator’s recommendations.

Mediation can actually help you keep control in your divorce – rather than putting important decisions in the hands of a judge. In the end, a mediator helps you to identify the issues you need to figure out and facilitate your discussions. You and your spouse choose the final outcome.

We won’t need lawyers if we choose mediation

If there is someone helping you make all the decisions, why would you need your own lawyer? Don’t you only need an attorney if you go to court? Actually, even when you go through mediation, you may still want to retain a consulting attorney. Here’s why:

It’s important to understand that a mediator’s job is to remain objective and facilitate an agreement. This means that your mediator will only give neutral advice. Your lawyer, on the other hand, can represent your interests in mediation. If something would benefit you and not your spouse, your mediator won’t say it—but your lawyer can.

Whether you and your soon-to-be ex are ending things peacefully or you can’t stand each other, mediation is an option that can allow you to get what you want on your terms. A family law attorney experienced in mediation can help guide you through the entire process.