You can mediate at any time during a conflict.
Mediation can be used before you file a claim in the court, even before you decide to proceed and file it.
Mediation can be used while you are litigating a case and you have reached an impasse point.
Also, mediation can be helpful after you have a decree; like a post-decree for divorce or separation cases.
You can decide to proceed with a mediation in cases where children are involved like Child Support cases, Parenting Plans or Modification of Parenting Plans between others.
Are you getting married? You can mediate your prenup agreement.
Mediation can take place when you are having issues with your tenant or you are having issues with your landlord so you can fix a problem in good terms before requesting to the court an eviction.
Mediation can be useful when a payment plan need to be used for a debit before sending it to collection.
Use mediation when a dispute is affecting your work environment before there is a greater tension situation.
Mediate when you reach a point where the communication is broken between the disputants and you cannot deal with the situation by yourself so a neutral party can be the solution.
And, because the legal system knows that mediation works, come to mediate when you have a court ordered mediation.