Mediation is completely voluntary from start to finish. Both and/or all parties and attorneys involved must agree to mediation. Here is how it works in civil and domestic relations disputes or filed cases.
If the parties are represented by counsel which is common in most civil matters, the attorneys request mediation after obtaining their respective client’s consent. If the parties have not obtained counsel, e.g. a dispute not filed in court, both or all parties must agree to mediate. Sometimes one party wants to mediate and the opposing party does not. In that situation I will contact the reluctant party to explain the process and answer any questions. I will not charge any fee until mediation actually begins with full agreement of parties and counsel.