Mediation is not an alternative to Divorce, but rather a tool that is used to conclude a divorce. If anyone tries to convince you otherwise, seek competent legal advice immediately.
All Divorces are lawsuits. And all lawsuits end with either settlement or trial.
In Texas, there are no means other than the death of a spouse and divorce to end a marriage - not Mediation, not Arbitration, not Collaborative Law, and not Legal Separation.
In virtually every divorce, if the case cannot be settled by Negotiation before Mediation, the case will end up going to Mediation - either by agreement or court-order.
Mediation is just a formal method of negotiating with the help of an unbiased, third-party Mediator. The Husband and Wife typically sit in separate rooms with their attorneys, and the Mediator travels back and forth between the rooms communicating offers and counteroffers, attempting to get the matter resolved.
Mediators do not take the place of attorneys and, in fact, are prohibited from giving legal advice.
Giving legal advice to both sides of a case is a conflict of interest, and any attorney claiming to act as a Mediator -- but advising both sides -- is violating the ethical rules that all attorneys must follow.
While it's true that parties are not required to have legal representation in a divorce, attempting to use a Mediator without competent legal counsel can be a recipe for disaster. Mediated Settlement Agreements are irrevocable, and the decisions made at mediation can have life-changing and catastrophic results.
There is no substitute for competent, experienced legal representation.
Here are some Resources that may help you with your Mediation questions: