Mediation voucher scheme extended
Today the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has published a significant consultation, aimed at increasing the amount of families that use mediation during separation rather than going to court.
Arguably most notably, the MoJ has announced the continuation of the Family Mediation Voucher Scheme until 2025. This scheme is designed to support parties who may be able to resolve their family law disputes outside of court. It is a financial contribution of £500 towards the cost of mediation, if the family is eligible. It was set up in response to Covid-19, but the extension of the voucher scheme shows hope for the future of funding family matters.
The actual consultation also included various proposals for mediation, including;
- Requiring couples to mediate (with some exceptions);
- Cost consequences for those who do not try to mediate;
- Making the equivalent funding now available under the voucher scheme permanent for child cases (as outlined above); and
- Requiring parents to attend a co-parenting programme before attending court.
All of the above aims to provide a less adversarial process for families, whilst freeing up court time for the families that cannot resolve their issues through mediation.
If you think that you may be affected by any of the above, or have any questions about this, please contact Alison Benson from our Family team on 01482 337363 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.