I recently had a couple who wanted to go to mediation for their divorce. The issue, they had not filed for divorce yet. Unfortunately, in order for mediation to be binding there must be some sort of action filed with the Court so that there is a dispute to resolve in mediation.
Many courts have held that mediations prior to the filing of the case are invalid and do not have to be upheld. Therefore, whether you are filing a divorce, a child support case, a child custody case, modification of a case, or any other family law case, you should file your Petition with the Court and then contact a mediator to help you resolve your disputes.
Further, in this case, the two people actually were in agreement on the terms of their divorce. Based on this, what they really needed was to file for divorce, not mediate their divorce. As I have advocated on my litigation website, Welsh Law, when parties are in full agreement without complex issues, then they need someone who can draft their documents for them. This couple ended up meeting with me to discuss doing just that, rather than spending time trying to mediate what they already agreed to.