The aim of a mediation is to reach an out-of-court settlement, which can then be written up into a binding agreement.

Where parties have already commenced litigation in the Family Court, an agreement at a mediation may be a Minute of Consent Orders, which the solicitors for the parties can then file, with a request that the proceedings be finalised and all applications and responses dismissed.

Some agreements require more drafting or preparation and therefore a Heads of Agreement is written up and signed by the parties.  A Heads of Agreement details what has been agreed and, if it is signed and dated by the parties, it is capable of being produced in evidence in Court.

Sometimes parties reach a partial agreement, for example to sell a property and preserve the proceeds of sale.  This can be drafted up as a Minute of Interim Orders or as a signed Heads of Agreement or Deed.