Voucher scheme – £500 towards your family mediation
Mediate UK are pleased to announce that the Government have further extended the £500 voucher scheme until 2025. They have recently allocated a further £5.4 million to show their ongoing commitment to family mediation in order to resolve family disputes regarding children. So far over 8,400 families have benefited from the voucher scheme, that was launched in April 2021. This also ties in with new developments as the Government looks to fund mandatory mediation for separating couples.
In a major shake-up to the family justice system, proposals will see mediation become mandatory in all suitable low-level family court cases excluding those which include allegations or a history of domestic violence. This will mean separating couples have to attempt to agree their child custody and financial arrangements through a qualified mediator with court action being a last resort.
The scheme helps parents or grandparents discuss the arrangements for children through mediation, rather than suffer the time, expense and stress of going to court.
The Government, judiciary and courts understand that most disputes about the arrangements for children are best resolved between the parents themselves or through family mediation. An application to court should only be used as a last resort, or where there are specific issues that need a court’s authority to address – such as cases where a child is at significant risk of harm.
Take a look at our blog, “Will it look bad if I refuse to go to mediation” for more information on how a court views family mediation before any child arrangements hearing commence.
Before you can apply to court, you will usually have had to at least consider family mediation, by means of a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting – often called a MIAM. There are 15 exemptions to a MIAM – but the majority of court applications will need to have attended a MIAM. The government voucher scheme puts £500 towards your joint family mediation sessions (it does not cover your MIAM fees) and Mediate UK are signed up to administer the scheme on your behalf.
£500 family mediation voucher highlights
- The £500 goes towards your joint mediation appointment(s)
- Vouchers are not means tested – available to anyone with parenting issues to resolve
- Can be claimed when discussing child arrangements, specific issues (such as going on a holiday) or grandparent access
- Any unused voucher balance can be carried over onto finances if yours is an all-issues case
- Mediate UK apply for the voucher on your behalf. You just need to confirm you wish us to apply.
- 90% of clients reach an agreement through family mediation
- Any agreement reached can be made legally binding
- Meetings can be held in person or online
- You don’t have to be on the same screen / in the same room as each other
If you would like to find out more about whether family mediation is suitable for your situation, you can book in a free 15-minute consultation.
You can read more about the £500 voucher scheme in the Government’s press release here:
If you want to start resolving issues on the arrangements for your children, then give us a call on 0330 999 0959 or email email@example.com – we are happy to help.
Call us on 0330 999 0959 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can help with your situation.