Even with the onset of Collaborative Law, I am still a strong believer in the mediation process. When people dig in and work to understand the other person, the situation, the future, they make better decisions for themselves and they learn a lot along the way. That does not exclude getting professional advice, but it does mean you staying in control of the final decision which puts the professional from whom you are seeking advice in a different position than what is normally expected.
Mediation is hard work but for precisely the reasons it is hard, it is worth it. A mediator tells us why in a nice, succinct article. Read it here.