As part of the mediation process it is very important to have what has been agreed put in writing and signed by both parties. Having a written parenting plan or agreement is not only a good reminder of what was discussed, but can avoid confusion further down the line. This will also be a lot less time consuming and costly than having to go down the court route if problems arise later on if there are no written records of what was agreed.
A written parenting agreement or parenting plan is legally binding in the same way as any contract between two people. However, it is important to remember that this is different from a Child Arrangement Order which can only be obtained via the court service. If separated parents are able to come to their own mutual agreement, formalised with a mediator and without the court process, this is a lot less costly. Mediation does not require case management fees, solicitors fees or court costs which will run into thousands.