When a marriage ends, each spouse usually wants to resolve all outstanding issues as quickly and inexpensively as possible. But at the time of separation, there may be poor communication between the spouses. Although they may both want to resolve the same issues, they require a professional to assist them in arriving at terms that are fair and agreeable. A family mediator is a professional who will work with both spouses to facilitate a resolution of the issues that need to be resolved. Although many family mediators are lawyers by training, they do not represent either spouse. It is critical that each spouse retain a family lawyer to be advised of his or her rights (before and during the mediation process) and be provided with strategic advice. At the conclusion of a successful mediation, the spouses will have arrived at terms of settlement that can be incorporated into a separation agreement. This is prepared by one spouse’s lawyer for review and consideration by the other spouse’s lawyer.