In Texas, most courts will not set a divorce or other contested family law matter for trial until the parties have had an opportunity to try and settle their differences in  mediation or dispute resolution conference.  Mediation is a forum where each participant can state their grievances, differences, opinions, and desires in front of a neutral person, the mediator, whose only goal is to facilitate settlement.  Mediation is confidential, and things said or information learned cannot be used against a person at trial, if the mediation did not result in settlement.  Mediation is often less costly than a trial and mediators are usually attorneys, counselors or other professionals specifically trained in family law issues. 

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