Following a successful launch in March 2021, in August the government chose to extend the mediation voucher scheme. They invested a further £800,000 so that more separating couples could try to settle their separation more amicable without going having to go to court. It now looks as if they are about to extend the mediation voucher scheme again.
This is because the take up of vouchers is showing no sign of slowing. In fact, mediation vouchers are currently being allocated at an even higher rate recently than they were in the spring and summer.
As a result, the Ministry of Justice is now working with the Family Mediation Council (FMC) to work out how they can extend the mediation voucher scheme again into – and, we hope, throughout 2022.
The main reason we believe is because the data the FMC have just released is so positive. While they are at odds to say this is “early” data and a more detailed analysis will take place “in due course” the initial result based on 1579 cases reports:
77% of the mediations supported by vouchers led to a whole or partial agreement while only 23% couldn’t reach an agreement.
72% of cases that went to mediation under the scheme did not go to court at all.
9% went to court with narrowed issues.
And only 19% of cases ended up in court having not settled any issues during the mediation.
And the part the vouchers played is also highlighted in the study; 48% of the couples that went through mediation thanks to the vouchers said they wouldn’t have otherwise tried mediation without this vital financial support.
As family mediators we have now been asked to provide our perspective of the mediation voucher scheme – which of course we will – so that our views and successes can not only be incorporated into the next more detail study but also be used to continue to improve the scheme so it can be extended further into 2022.
If you would like to find out whether you are eligible for a mediation voucher, all you need to do is book an initial meeting with either Bernadette or Aisling in our family team and they’ll assess whether you would qualify and if you do, we will take care of the application.
Or if you’d like to find out more about the benefits of mediation, please click here.
And as always, if this blog has raised any questions or if there are any family issues you’d like to discuss in confidence, please email us or call us on 020 8866 1820.