If you have already started legal proceedings, you can, by mutual agreement, tell the judge that you still prefer to go into mediation. On the other hand, the judge can also suggest that you first try to reach an agreement through mediation. It is up to you whether you agree to this or not. The judge usually provides a mediation period of three months, after which a new hearing is set. A maximum of eight days after the hearing in which the judge 'orders' mediation, the clerk of the court will send a letter to the certified mediator with the 'mediation order'. If you wish to use a certified mediator other than the one the judge has referred you to, you may notify the clerk of the court.
If one of you wishes to end the mediation prematurely, you can do so by making a simple declaration to the clerk of the court, after which the judge will be asked to end the mediation. In that case, a new hearing will follow 15 days later.
Otherwise, you will inform the judge at the originally scheduled new hearing of the progress of the mediation. If you have not (yet) reached an agreement, but still wish to continue mediation, you can request a new mediation period. If you want to stop the mediation, the legal proceedings can continue as usual. When you have reached an agreement during mediation, the judge can confirm the parenting agreement in an agreement decree, which cannot be appealed.