Sandy Says ...
Yes, the parties can go into a mediation before filing for dissolution and this can be a very effective way to cut the costs of a typical divorce proceeding.
To get the parties on board I suggest you cut right to the heart of the matter that is important to both parties – their money. If they get a mediated agreement with little if any court involvement, court time and legal fees, their divorce costs will be a fraction of what they would otherwise incur, which puts more money on the table to be discussed.
Sometimes pre-petition mediations are conducted with both parties represented by counsel, and sometimes the parties go to a mediation pre-petition with no lawyers at all.What do you say???