Mediation is a neutral and voluntary process wherein two or more parties that have a dispute meet with a mediator who facilitates the meeting in an attempt to come to an agreement and keep the matter out of court.  A mediator does not have to be an attorney. Oftentimes, counselors receive training in mediation as well.  It is important to keep in mind that if an attorney is a mediator, they cannot give you legal advice since they are a neutral party.  For this reason, some people also keep an attorney for legal advice while going through mediation.  The benefit of mediation is that it often can resolve issues or at least narrows down the issues in dispute.  This is helpful in the legal setting so that only money is spent litigating a very focused issue, if needed.  If an agreement is reached in mediation, it can be drafted and signed by the mediator or it can then be taken to an attorney to review.  Agreements that are reached in mediation not only help keep costs down, but they also help to keep the relationship more amicable since both parties have had input in coming to the agreement.