There are no agreements made in a separation and divorce situation which are "good." Every agreement is necessarily a negative compromise- How much less money each spouse shall have; how much less time each spouse will have with the children; how much less retirement, and so on. Unfortunately, a single family divided in two equals hardship. No matter how reluctant (and enraged) a spouse may be by this family tragedy to engage in negotiation with the other, the question urgently looms: Who will make those hard choices? Does it feel different to make a voluntary choice to juggle your employment schedule to rush the kids from school to athletics, than to be ordered to do so? In general, does it ever feel good to be ordered to do anything? How much more painful is it, when the scheduling of your own children's lives is placed in the hands of a stranger? Make your own choices, tailored to the needs of your family. Take a bad situation and make it less painful. Who's going to make the decisions and choices for your family? A judge? Or you and your spouse under pressure on the courtroom steps with your respective attorneys as the meter is running at a collective family cost of $500+ per hour? In Mediation, you pick the time, the pace of negotiations and control the costs, in addition to making those hard choices yourselves. Those are the choices that you will each have to live with. Make them yourselves.