Family Mediation Week 2022: further investment for mediation voucher scheme
Family Mediation Week promotes mediation as an alternative method of resolving family disputes.
It was launched by Sir Andrew McFarlane, the president of the Family Division, and Lord Wolfson QC, courts minister with responsibility for mediation.
The judiciary and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) are keen to use mediation as way of keeping cases out of court and reducing the backlog in the family court.
Family mediation voucher scheme
The MoJ has made a further investment of £1.3 million towards the family mediation voucher scheme. This means that to date, it has spent just under £3.3 million.
The scheme is available to couples who have:
- a dispute relating to a child
- a dispute regarding family financial matters that also involved a dispute relating to a child
- attended a mediation information and assessment meeting (MIAM)
The family mediation voucher scheme is run by the Family Mediation Council, and the mediation is conducted by a Family Mediation Council accredited mediator.
Unlike legal aid, there’s no financial eligibility. However, legally aided mediation is still available.
Success of the scheme
According to the MoJ, since its launch in March 2021, 4,400 vouchers have been used.
The government’s assessment is that the scheme led to cases settling that may have otherwise gone to court. This suggests the scheme is helping some couples avoid litigation.
A big thank you must go to the administrators of the scheme who have done a sterling job by being responsive to all the mediators involved in the scheme.
Don’t delay considering this option. We estimate this money is likely to run out by the end of April 2022.