The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has developed a mediation voucher scheme, whereby a contribution of up to £500 per case/family to the mediation costs of a child arrangements case will be offered, encouraging people to seek to resolve their disputes outside of court where appropriate to do so. The purpose of the scheme is to promote the benefits of mediation and divert matters where appropriate away from the family courts. The scheme will offer mediation participants a financial contribution of up to £500 per family towards the total costs of their mediation. This payment will be made directly to mediation providers by the Family Mediation Council (FMC) which is administering the scheme on behalf of the MoJ.
Jane Robey, CEO of National Family Mediation says:
“This will enable thousands of separating couples make parenting arrangements well away from the fire and brimstone of the family court. Family mediation is a process where a trained mediator helps families work out future arrangements for parenting and finance, usually in cases where a couple is splitting up. It is quicker and much less stressful than taking the issues to a family court. It’s also a much cheaper way to make vital settlements. For those set to benefit from the government voucher scheme, the cost will tumble further. Mediation helps you stay in control of decisions affecting your family, rather than handing those decisions to judges.”
Before confirming to clients that a voucher is available, mediators must make a request for voucher allocation, and receive a case reference number from the FMC – this is to ensure that vouchers are only allocated where funds are available. Full information about the voucher scheme can be found on the Family Mediation Council website using this link https://www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk/mediation-voucher-scheme/