Alot of people get nervous about mediation but its really not anything to be nervous about. When you go to the first scheduled date of your mediation, it will just be an orientation. Your ex will probably be there too. You watch a film about the mediation process and the benefits of resolving your issues out of court. At the end of orientation, the coordinator will schedule you and your ex for mediation counseling on a date you both agree upon.
When you go back for your mediation counseling, it will be a session for just you, your spouse, and the coordinator. It is an opportunity for you and your ex to try and resolve some or all of your custody/visitation issues reasonably outside of the courtroom. There are no attorneys there and nothing that is said in mediation is recorded or can be used in court later against you. The thing to remember is you do not have to agree to anything you don’t feel comfortable with. These sessions are merely a way for you and your ex to try and resolve and or compromise on issues of custody and visitation in a neutral setting.
If you and your ex do come to an agreement on some or all of the issues the mediator types up the agreement and takes it to the judge to sign for your file. If all issues get resolved you don’t have to take your case to court.
Also, just because you have visitation already in a separation agreement does not mean that that will necessarily be the result of mediation. It depends on what you and your ex agree to.
When I went to mediation with my ex ions ago, my ex all of a sudden wanted joint custody for our daughter and for her to live with me one week and him the next. This arrangement did not work well for us so nothing got settled in mediation and we ended up having a long custody battle.
If you can compromise and try to work things out but just remember not to agree to anything you might not be comfortable with down the road as the agreement that comes out of this will be in effect for a long time.