It sounds as though Peoria is discovering the benefits of mediation in appropriate cases.
Although very common in the context of divorce, most divorcing parties are unaware of mediation or unclear as to what it is.
Mediation is not trial or arbitration. The mediator does not decide all or part of a case and cannot tell parties what to do.
A mediator is a neutral third party, a facilitator in regard to the issues in dispute between the parties.
As helpful as it can be in resolving cases, mediation is not appropriate where there is a history of domestic violence by one party, and may not be appropriate where there is a history of drug abuse by one party, one party is very controlling and manipulative, one party has all the economic power in the relationship, etc.
Mediation is becoming increasingly popular, even mandatory, in many types of family cases.
Mediation is not an all-or-nothing proposition. Some issues can be resolved in a case even if others cannot.
Long, contentious mediations, however, can be as costly as many trials are.