More families will benefit from publicly funded family mediation following a fresh cash injection by the government. The government has announced a further £800,000 has been allocated to a voucher scheme, launched approximately 6 months ago, which had an £1m worth of funding initially.
Usually, each mediation session is paid for, unless one of the parties has access to legal aid. However, the scheme means almost 2000 more families will receive up to £500 each, to contribute toward the cost of mediation.
This voucher scheme comes without a means test, also, if a family is eligible the mediator will automatically claim back the contributions from the government. So, the family does not have to worry about finding the money for mediation then claiming it back at a later date.
This is a great initiative and will mean separating parents can keep disputes out of court. Families who are seeking to resolve private law, or financial matters relating to children, outside of court will be eligible for this scheme. It is extremely accessible and should benefit a huge number of families.
Courts minister Lord Wolfson QC said ‘hundreds of separating couples have already benefited from this scheme – resolving their disputes without the need for lengthy, costly and emotionally taxing court processes’. He believes the additional funding will allow even more families to access the services. The scheme also relieves family courts of some pressure.
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