It is now compulsory to try Mediation in Family Law disputes before an application can be made to the Family Court. There are some exceptions to this but in general the Court will not issue an application and give you a Court date until there has been some attempt to Mediate.
Mediation starts with an initial appointment, known as a MIAM, which stands for a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting and allows the Mediator to assess whether the case can be mediated or not.
Some people may be reluctant to go to Mediation as they may not wish to see the other party or perhaps they are concerned about being bullied into agreeing something which they do not wish to agree. It is true that Mediation does not always bring about a solution and does not work for everyone. Of course, much of its success relies on both parties cooperating with the process and also relies on how well the Mediator can help them both talk to each other.
However, it is certainly worth trying Mediation as many people do find that they reach an agreement and, whilst Mediators do charge a fee for their work, success at Mediation may avoid far greater fees in taking a case to Court. It may also mean that both parties remain on far better terms with each other than they would have done if they had taken the case to Court.