Mediation is often defined as a method of nonbinding dispute resolution involving a neutral third party who tries to help the disputing parties reach a mutually agreeable solution. In the family law context, mediation is often used to try and resolve custody and placement disputes.  By mediating custody and placement disputes, courts seek to improve the lives of parents and children by facilitating communication between parents and working towards a resolution satisfactory for both parties.  Mediation may be used to allow parties to work disputes out themselves, without court involvement.