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Family Mediation Voucher Scheme

09 April 2021 | Louise Kiely

On 26 March 2021 the Ministry of Justice announced a scheme to try and help families stay out of the court process. As we have heard throughout the lockdown period, family courts have been overrun with cases, especially in private children matters.

Many family matters require the parties to attempt mediation before starting the court process and you will often have to prove that you have done so unless you are exempt. Mediation is a structured and interactive process where a trained impartial third party assists in reaching a resolution. The mediator is there to help both parties work out arrangements concerning finance, children or property. The mediator can then explain how to make the agreement reached legally binding. Here at GL Law we work with several trained mediators and can assist in negotiations and making the agreement reached legally binding.

As part of the £1m scheme launched by the Ministry of Justice families will be able to apply for a £500 voucher towards the cost of mediation. The scheme will be administered by the Family Mediation Council.

The Ministry of Justice have said that the vouchers will be limited but would be handed out to eligible parties until they run out. On attending a mediation information and assessment meeting (MIAM), a trained mediator will assess whether the family’s case is suitable for mediation. If it is, then the mediator will apply for the voucher and be paid directly. 

FAQ’s

  1. How do I qualify for the voucher?

If you have a dispute/application concerning a child or there is a dispute/application regarding family financial matters where you are also involved in a dispute/application concerning a child.

  1. Can I use the voucher to pay for the MIAM?

No, you will have to pay for the MIAM first. The voucher is used solely to fund mediation sessions.

  1. How many vouchers will I receive?

You will only receive one voucher for a contribution of £500.

  1. How/when will I receive my voucher?

The mediator will apply for the voucher on your behalf if you have instructed them to do so and your matter meets the eligibility criteria. The payment will be made directly to the mediator at the end of the sessions.

Specialist Family Solicitors

For more information on mediation or to book an appointment with our friendly team of Family lawyers, please call 0117 906 9400 or email hello@gl.law

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.

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