The government has announced an additional £5.4 million in funding for family mediation.
The new funding extends an existing scheme which provides mediation vouchers worth £500 to couples undergoing divorce or separation who are interested in reaching out-of-court agreements on potentially contentious issues like finances or living arrangements for children.
More than 8,000 mediation vouchers have been distributed by the Family Mediation Council so far, and the newly announced £5.4 million will fund an additional 10,200 vouchers.
According to research conducted by the Council, nearly two thirds (65 per cent) of the first 2,800 voucher recipients succeeded in reaching out-of-court agreements with their estranged partner. An additional three per cent only proceeded on to court to formalise their agreement. Half of those surveyed said they would not have undergone mediation without the vouchers.
Family mediation consists of a series of meetings during which an estranged couple works to negotiate solutions to family matters about which they are struggling to agree. The sessions are guided by trained, specialist mediators who assist the discussions while remaining neutral.
Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab explained:
“We are investing over £5 million this year alone to help more families to resolve their disputes without the stress and trauma of lengthy courtroom battles. Mediation protects children, by removing the bitterness of parental disputes from the amplifying effect of a courtroom.”
If you’d like to discuss mediation with one of our experts then please call 01223 443333.