Parties are often required to participate in mediation prior to proceeding on any action involving decision making and parenting time. Mediation is generally conducted by an independent person approved by the court to assist the parties in resolving their disputes regarding the children. If the mediation is successful, an appropriate order in accordance with the parties agreement will be entered by the court. However, if it is unsuccessful the parties may proceed to litigate. The cost of mediation may be paid by one or both of the parties pursuant to agreement or court order.