Conflict resolution mediation is intended to avoid litigation. In litigation, the parties are essentially at war. In the family context, this invariably causes great stress and great harm when children are involved.
Couples like conflict resolution mediation because it is simple. Generally, lawyers are not in the sessions, although they are often consulted with at times during the process, and can review written agreements and other documents resulting from the mediated conflict resolution process.
Conflict resolution mediation (even with reviewing attorneys) is generally much less costly than other methods. It is private, and client directed. The mediator is a resource to the clients that assists that in coming to fair and rational decisions about the terms that they choose to resolve their conflict.
Aside from mediation, there are other Alternative Dispute Resolution methods that may be considered, such as Collaborative Practice (also known as Collaborative Law), Case Evaluation, and Arbitration. Each method has its unique characteristics and usefulness. Litigation dispute resolution can be achieved through conflict resolution mediation; however, litigation is available for those who need or desire it.