Mediation can be utilized during Divorce proceedings instead of going to trial. Mediation is a formal negotiation and settlement process. In Michigan, almost all cases are referred to mediation (meaning the Judge requires you go to mediation and at least try to reach a settlement) before the Court will allow a contested trial to occur. During mediation each party is present with his or her attorney, along with a third party neutral (often another attorney) present to help facilitate the conversation towards settlement.
Mediation is less costly than a full contested trial, and provides the parties with the flexibility of crafting their own agreement, as the outcome of a divorce (whether by agreement or trial) is something the parties will have to live with for a long time. Thus, mediation offers a less costly opportunity to discuss and settle many, or all issues in a pending divorce case.