As we expected the mediation voucher scheme will continue with the government confirming it will invest a further £1.3m in mediation vouchers. This is fantastically timed news as this week is Family Mediation Week which we are of course supporting wholeheartedly as a firm.
Stats collected by Family Mediation Council (FMC) show the initial scheme has been hugely successful in achieving the scheme’s aim, to help more separating families resolve disputes involving their children and their finances away from court.
The additional funding comes only five months after the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) provided an additional £800,000 to the scheme on top of the initial £1m used to launch the scheme in March 2021.
Dominic Raab, the current Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, has been a very public supporter of the scheme:
“I want to see children and their parents spared the stress and conflict of the courtroom as much as possible, and I’m delighted that thousands more will now have the opportunity to resolve their disputes in less combative way. At the same time, it will free up vital capacity in the family courts to ensure the system can recover quickly from the pandemic.”
And it seems as though Mr Raab’s objectives are being met. According to MoJ figures, 4,400 £500 vouchers have already been claimed and 49% of those who used the vouchers said that without the scheme, they wouldn’t have even considered using mediation. More encouragingly, of those 4,400 cases in which vouchers were used, 3,388 reached either a full or partial agreement away from court.
The latest round of funding will provide 2,440 more vouchers. Initial research from the Family Mediation Council, who run the scheme, showed nearly half (49 per cent) of those who had benefitted from the scheme would not have considered mediation if the voucher had not been on offer.
We reported the strong likelihood the scheme would be extended in a recent blog but the news that it has been confirmed government will invest a further £1.3m in the family mediation voucher scheme was also welcomed by Bernadette Hoy and Aisling Collins, who are Managing Partners at Collins & Hoy and both experienced accredited mediators,
“Mediation is a pivotal part of our family practice. We are firm believers in the mediation process as it helps families resolve vital issues outside of Court by encouraging communication and allowing couples to keep control at such an emotive time.”
“Making even more mediation vouchers available will build on the hugely encouraging results achieved by the first two campaigns and hopefully show separating couples there is a more amicable, more collaborative and less combative way to make decisions regarding children, property and finances.”
If you would like to find out more about family mediation or have any other questions regarding your relationship or family, please contact our fully qualified and hugely experienced mediators firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com