The government has announced it will invest £1m to provide vouchers that will make it easier for families to access experienced mediators to help them resolve family law issues involving children.
The mediation services will be provided by mediators accredited by the Family Mediation Council (FMC). It is felt the new scheme will reduce the cost of mediation for more than 2000 families by giving them access to Ministry of Justice funded vouchers for up to £500 per family.
It is important to note, however, that the vouchers are limited and will be withdrawn once the government’s funding has been spent.
The timing for the new voucher scheme does not come as a surprise.
It has been well publicised that divorce rates have climbed during lockdown. When you add the traditional stresses of divorce to the additional pressures caused by the pandemic, it is not difficult to understand how a less traumatic not to mention more cost-effective way to work out the best way forward following a separation will benefit families going through a separation.
At the launch John Taylor, Chair of the Family Mediation Council, was quick to praise the government’s initiative and investment saying:
“It will help separated families agree solutions that are best for their children, taking into account what is going to be important for them as they grow up.”
Mr Taylor went on to underline the fact that while mediation for families “a proven cost-effective way to resolve differences” without having to go to court, the vouchers will make it both more affordable and more accessible for families who may not otherwise have been able to consider mediation as an option.
By the time the scheme goes live both of our senior family partners Bernadette Hoy and Aisling Collins (both of whom are already hugely experienced accredited FMC mediators) will have signed up, ready to apply for vouchers on behalf of our eligible clients.
And everything is in place to make that process as simple as possible. All a client will need to do to find out if they are eligible is to book an initial meeting with either Bernadette or Aisling at which our mediators will assess whether they would qualify. If they do, we will take care of the application.
If you would like to book your initial meeting or simply find out more about how these vouchers will give you access to family mediators, please email us or call us on 020 8866 1820. Alternatively, there is additional information regarding the mediation process on our website.