The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is investing £1m in a family mediation voucher scheme to support families who could benefit from help through family mediation and to offset the impact of Covid-19 in the family courts. This new scheme will contribute £500 per case/family to the mediation expenses of a child arrangements case. This encourages people to seek to resolve their disputes outside of court.
What is Family Mediation?
Family mediation is a process in which an independent, professionally trained mediator helps parents work out arrangements for children and finances following separation. Mediation can also be helpful when previous child arrangements need to change, particularly as children grow up.
What is the purpose of the scheme?
This scheme aims to divert, where appropriate, child arrangement case matters away from the courts as well as promote the benefits of mediation. The scheme will contribute £500 per case/family towards the total cost of their mediation. This payment will be made by the FMC who are administering the scheme on behalf of the MoJ.
John Taylor, Chair of the Family Mediation Council said ‘This government investment in mediation is much welcomed by the Family Mediation Council. It will help separated families agree solutions that are best for their children, taking into account what is going to be important for them as they grow up. Family mediation is a proven cost-effective way to resolve differences following separation. This voucher scheme will make it even more accessible, and will help families resolve issues for themselves, without having to go to court.’
What documents do you need to participate in the Scheme?
· Case data to be submitted by the mediator
· Billing information to be submitted by the mediator
· Details of the form that client consent must take (which must be submitted when you request allocation of a voucher)
Information to give to a party/parties at the MIAM stage
The scheme is open to mediation participants who attend a MIAM on or after 26 March 2021. At a MIAM, the mediator should provide information about the family mediation voucher scheme.
This should include:
1. Whether the case is eligible for the scheme
2. The value of the voucher
3. If a party/parties are eligible for legal aid, what this means for them
When can I participate in the scheme?
From 1 April, a link will be added to the FMC page to enable mediators to register to participate in the scheme and to access the forms required to make allocation requests. You can find out more information about the scheme here.
Family Mediation Solicitors
Our team of family law solicitors are experts in their field with many years of experience. We can advise on all matters relating to family law and mediation. Please call us on 0208 974 7490, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the live chat on our website to arrange an initial consultation to discuss the best way forward for you and we can then provide you with further advice specifically tailored to your circumstances.