Two years after its launch, the family mediation voucher scheme has been hailed as an important initiative that is keeping families out of court. The government has announced that more than 13,500 eligible families have used the scheme since its introduction in March 2021, with two-thirds of those cases reaching full or partial agreements away from court.
This is a welcome investment by the government, which will see more families accessing mediation services – a process that allows couples to work through their differences in a less stressful way than arguing in front of a judge and avoids the financial costs of lengthy court proceedings. In addition, it ensures that children’s issues – such as contact arrangements and financial settlements on divorce – are addressed in a more child-focused manner.
However, although the government has increased its funding for the scheme, it is important to remember that the voucher only covers up to PS500 of the cost of a single case. The cost of the initial Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) will not be covered and individuals who are eligible for legal aid will still be required to pay the relevant fees.
At Thrings, our team of trained and accredited mediators are delighted to be able to offer families the opportunity to mediate their disputes. However, it is essential that both parties to a dispute are willing to attend a MIAM and mediate, and that they are prepared to reach a settlement through this process.
During our free, initial, confidential consultations, we can help you decide whether or not the family mediation process is right for you and your situation. We can also assist you with obtaining financial support, should this be necessary for your particular circumstances.
In some cases, legal advice will be needed to explain what the law says about a specific issue, such as children’s arrangements or financial settlements on divorce. This can be provided by one of our qualified solicitors, who have a thorough knowledge of the law and are experienced in dealing with a wide variety of matters affecting families.
Our team is based in our Cambridge office but we are happy to meet with clients at any of our regional offices. For further information, or to arrange an appointment, please call us on 020 8391 1545 or complete our online enquiry form.
Victoria Tallis is a trainee solicitor in our Family Team at Thrings and works with Claire, an accredited family mediator.
For more information about family mediation, or to arrange an appointment with one of our qualified mediators, please call 0121 761 5740 or visit the Thrings website. Alternatively, complete our online enquiry form and we will be in touch. Our clients include businesses, charities and public sector organisations. We also act for high net worth individuals and their families. We are committed to providing a high standard of service, whatever the value of your case. Our lawyers are also experienced in arbitration and other alternative dispute resolution methods. family mediation voucher scheme