Couples in Hawaii who decide to get a divorce, but do not want it to be a contentious process, may want to consider mediation. This method uses a third-party mediator to help each partner work through decisions regarding asset division, alimony and child custody. When couples communicate and prepare correctly, mediation can cost much less than litigation and it is typically less stressful.

HuffPost discusses that choosing a mediator is the first step in the process, and that they are not all the same. During the mediation process, soon-to-be exes discuss a myriad of topics, and many of them can be challenging. Choosing a mediator that both partners trust to guide them through tough conversations is important. It is also a good idea to research the mediator, as they can come from different backgrounds. Look for one that is active in the profession, has a good amount of education in conflict resolution and only practices in family and divorce mediation.

Cost may also be a consideration when choosing a mediator. While mediation generally is less expensive than going to trial, each mediator’s fees will vary. Some bill by the hour while others charge a flat fee. This is not an area to cut corners, so choose a good quality mediator, even if he or she costs a little bit more than a competitor.

Money Crashers offers some tips to help mediation sessions go smoothly. Each session has an assigned topic, such as debts, custody and living arrangements. Each partner should prepare for each topic by gathering all necessary paperwork and thinking ahead about what each wants and how they may be willing to compromise. Planning ahead is especially important for those paying for a mediator by the hour.