Mediation is a process wherein two parties agree to go to a neutral for purposes of trying to settle their differences. The neutral is generally a person who has substantial expertise.
A mediator has no power to create or coerce a settlement. Generally speaking, the role of the mediator is to attempt to find a way in which the parties can reach an accord as to all issues in their case.
When successful, mediation avoids the hazards of litigation and saves the parties substantial money as far as attorney's fees and costs are concerned.