What is the family mediation voucher scheme?
On 26th March 2021, the Ministry of Justice launched a mediation voucher scheme in an effort to help families avoid going to court.
The voucher scheme provides a contribution of up to £500 towards the costs of mediation for eligible cases, enabling families to resolve their disputes outside of court.
Why has the Government set up the mediation voucher scheme?
The family mediation voucher scheme is designed to support individuals or parties who may be able to resolve their family law dispute outside of court. The Government set up the scheme in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and as a way of encouraging families to consider mediation as a way of resolving their disputes, rather than in court.
Why should I consider mediation?
As family law solicitors, we are advocates for collaborative and conflict-free solutions to family law disputes, whether it’s related to divorce and separation or child arrangements. Family mediation gives all parties an opportunity to stay in control and come to an agreement about childcare or financial arrangements between you. Mediation can be a far less stressful way of resolving family disagreements.
Mediation isn’t always effective, however, and if the dispute has not been resolved, you still have the right to go to court.
Do I have to try mediation before starting the court process?
Before making a court application, you will be required to attend a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM) for certain types of family law disputes, unless you have a valid exemption, e.g. in cases of domestic abuse. Your family law solicitor will be able to advise you on your options and whether you need to attend a MIAM.
You can also try family mediation after you made an application to the court.
How do I apply for a family mediation voucher?
At your MIAM, the mediator will discuss your eligibility for the voucher scheme with you, and can advise you on the application process.
You can only claim for the £500 family mediation voucher once per family or case.
Only mediators authorised by the Family Mediation Council (FMC) are taking part in the voucher scheme.
Contact our family law solicitors
To speak to our family law solicitors about mediation, call us on 0117 325 2929. Our family lawyers can put you in touch with their recommended mediators who can help you focus on finding practical, workable solutions to your family disagreements. Alternatively, fill out our online enquiry form and we will be in touch.