Family Mediation Update
It has been a very difficult year for us all dealing with Covid and its effects on everyday life.
One of the areas that has felt a significant impact is our Court system, which is now facing a serious backlog in cases. This is despite hearings, over the last year, being conducted by telephone or Cloud Video Platform. Currently, unless an application is made on an emergency basis, new applications are taking many months to be listed for a hearing. This is particularly concerning for children's cases where parents are struggling to agree child arrangements and child access.
It is therefore more important than ever that mediation is used as an alternative to Court intervention. To promote mediation and its benefits, the Ministry of Justice has recently launched a Mediation Voucher Scheme. Under the scheme, families can claim a contribution of up to £500 towards their costs of the mediation for child arrangement cases only. The scheme is now open for those families who attend a MIAM (Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting) on or after 26th March 2021.
Please note, it is for the mediator to make the request for the voucher allocation and so our advice is you speak to your chosen mediator prior to making your appointment, to check if you are eligible and to see if your mediator can claim this contribution on your behalf. Your mediator will be able to provide you with further advice regarding the scheme.
If you require legal advice before considering mediation, then please call our office on 01227 813400 for an appointment.