This is a practical alternative for couples who wish to stay married and work on resolving disputes within their marriage. Many couples are committed to trying to work through issues and have often already tried therapy. The mediator helps the parties be creative problem solvers to generate practical and realistic solutions. At the end of the mediation the mediator develops a concrete plan or code of conduct agreement to which the parties mutually agree to follow to address their marital conflict. This agreement can be a verbal agreement or a written document called a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
These processes are not mutually exclusive and a provision in the mediated agreement could include therapy. However mediation is more structured, practical based and looks to the future when seeking resolutions. A mediator uses dispute resolution techniques to assist the parties to develop constructive communication and a deeper understanding of their own issues and conflicts. The mediation process helps them realize their own solutions to their conflict.