You are in control
Any agreement that comes out of mediation will therefore be something that you have decided to do. If you are unable to find anything that both parties are prepared to do, then you leave without an agreement, which is how you came in. This is the worst case scenario for mediation, whereas for court the worst case scenario is you leave with something you absolutely do not wish to do.
Mediation is less stressful and less anger inducing.
Going to court is usually very worrying and stressful. Again it can leave people feeling angry, frustrated and disappointed. The court process tends to be slow, which means that these emotions can be experienced relentlessly for a prolonged period which can be exhausting and draining. At the end of a court process it is often the case that both parties are upset at the outcome. Whilst it is generally possible to predict the kind of outcome that courts will arrive at, it is often hard to predict the detail. As a result it can be the case that neither person gets what they expected and carry feelings of anger and resentment forward into their future dealings.
Both solicitor negotiation and the court process tend to be adversarial in nature. A court will decide which client is more right and which is more wrong. Solicitors represent the interests of only one client, but the reality is that outcomes in a family scenario must take account of the needs of all parties. Mediation is a practical process in which a neutral professional helps their clients identify and assess the options that they have, and puts them in a position to decide which option best meets their needs.
As a process, this practical, collaborative approach can leave both people feeling more content with the outcome, more in control of their lives and less resentful of the process and the outcome. It helps people retain their dignity through what is always a very difficult time.
Mediation is easier for the children.
Mediation is quicker and cheaper.
You know your situation, your children and your ex partner.
No matter how long you spend in the court system or using a solicitor, they will never truly know your children, your life situation or your ex-partner. You are the expert on all of these things, so if at all possible you are best placed to make the important decisions about your future. A mediator will provide you with assistance, but the decisions will be yours.