Certain courts throughout the U.S have put in place mandatory mediation attendance for contested divorces, one in which the spouses cannot agree on how to resolve their issues. The goal of this is to try to eliminate litigation. The court prefers divorcing couples to reach settlement rather than having to make a decision for them. Going to court always introduces the element of surprise and rarely is one spouse a winner versus the other being a loser. The court will typically make a decision that seems to meet in the middle. Attending mediation sessions is an ideal method to get you and your spouse to reach an agreement or settlement so your divorce can proceed in an uncontested fashion.
Some courts have also put in place counseling requirements for divorcing couples. Each spouse can waive his or her right to counseling, but if one spouse does not, then marriage counseling would be required before a divorce may be granted. This rule does vary from court-to-court and according to the grounds that the divorce is being filed.