Government doubles investment in Family Mediation Voucher Scheme

Up to 2,000 more families could get help to pay for mediation regardless of how much they earn, it has been announced.

It comes after the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) extended the landmark Family Mediation Voucher Scheme.

According to the report, an additional £800,000 – almost double the current investment – will be provided to help divorcing parents resolve disputes away from court.

The scheme – launched in March this year – provides separating couples with a £500 voucher to help pay for mediation services, such as arbitration, early neutral evaluation, negotiation, and conciliation, relating to child arrangements or financial orders.

Families are usually expected to pay for such services unless they have access to Legal Aid, a means-tested benefit.

The latest statistics suggest that around 130 vouchers are being used every week, helping three in four participants to reach a full or partial agreement on their dispute.

Commenting on the scheme, John Taylor, Chair of the Family Mediation Council, said: “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.”

Courts Minister, Lord Wolfson, added: “Hundreds of separating couples have already benefitted from this scheme – resolving their disputes without the need for an often lengthy, costly and emotionally taxing court process.”

Solicitors can claim the £500 voucher directly from the Government. Click here to learn more about the scheme.

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