Mediation is voluntary. It is not unusual for one party to be keen to mediate but the other refuses to attend. If that happens then family mediation cannot go ahead.
Some people think that mediation can be forced on you by a court. This is wrong. A court does not have that power. However, a court should consider with the parties whether family mediation would be suitable and can adjourn court proceedings for the parties to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting.
For these reasons many folk feel more comfortable to have at least attended a mediation information meeting before going to court. In a lot of cases they like what they hear and carry on to resolve their differences by the use of family mediation.