Whether your spouse just sprung the idea of divorce on you or you’ve seen it coming for awhile now, most people are rarely prepared for the amount of work that needs to go into dissolving a marriage. From dividing marital property to determining a custody arrangement for the kids, divorce tends to lead to a lot of stress most couples are ill-prepared to handle.

But for some, this isn’t the case at all. In fact, dissolution is quite straightforward and may even be amicable. This typically happens in cases where couples agree on most things concerning the divorce. For these couples, traditional divorce proceedings may not be necessary, allowing them to opt instead for the friendlier option of mediation

But in what situations is mediation the better option? Let’s take a look.

When spouses agree on how to divide marital property. Property division can lead to bitter disputes in divorce proceedings, oftentimes leaving it to judges to sort things out. But when couples agree on how things should be divided, or they are at least willing to compromise, then mediation may be a possibility instead of going through traditional divorce proceedings.

When parents agree on a custody arrangement. Custody is another sticking point for many divorcing parents. But when both parents agree to an arrangement, all that’s left is to submit the arrangement to a judge for a final decision on the matter.

When it’s agreed as to who will pay child support. For many divorcing parents, child support is a contested matter. But for couples working through mediation, an agreement has already been made or is about to be made in regards to support payments. This leaves little more for the courts to do than to make the order official.

When there is no dispute concerning alimony. Paying your spouse alimony might not be the first thing people agree to in divorce. But for people going through mediation, it’s understood that it may be necessary and should be addressed without argument.