Unlike a trial, mediation is intended to facilitate fair and voluntary negotiations. Mediators are typically trained in dispute resolution and communication techniques that help the mediator balance negotiating power between parties and produce agreements that are fair and voluntary.

During mediation, both parties can still be represented by their divorce mediation attorneys. Attorneys may participate in the mediation sessions or merely act as a consultant to the client going through mediation. Even when mediation fails to resolve every issue in a case, parties tend to approach the remaining issues at trial with less hostility.