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Mediation: the cost effective, quicker way to resolve family disputes.

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Mediation: the cost effective, quicker way to resolve family disputes.

Mediation is an alternative method to resolving family disputes. It is a powerful tool to keep cases out of court and reduces the backlog in the family court system.

Mediation is a cost-effective method, centred around discussions and agreement. Parties will work with an impartial third party (the mediator) and this method can often reduce stress and improve communication between the parties.

Family mediation can be used to assist in resolving children matters or issues arising from separation/divorce such as financial matters.

This method is encouraged between parties unless there is a safeguarding concern. Parties tend to attempt mediate to resolve issues rather than issuing Court proceedings.  It is now a pre-action that mediation should be considered before issuing proceedings unless there is evidence of domestic abuse or child protection issues.

Mediation can help parties define the issues, look at what can be agreed and explore various options available. It is voluntary and agreements can be converted into legally binding agreements.

Family Mediation Week runs from 17th to 25th January 2022 and ahead of that, the Ministry of Justice announced a 1.3 million pound investment to the family mediation voucher scheme.  The scheme was launched in March 2021 and allowed parties to obtain a £500 voucher towards mediation. Since March 2021 4,400 vouchers have been used and of those cases, 77% have reached a conclusion.

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)

Mediation is a method of resolving family disputes without the need of issuing Court proceedings.  The judiciary are keen to continue to use mediation as a way of reducing the number of cases and backlog in the family Court.

If you are having a dispute and wish to mediate, don’t delay and contact a local mediation service. it is expected funding will expire in March 2022.

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