This website uses cookies

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. By using our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy

Lexis+ AI
Suzanne Townley

News Editor, Solicitors Journal

Government announces further £1.3m investment in family mediation voucher scheme

Government announces further £1.3m investment in family mediation voucher scheme


Investment in the scheme has tripled since its inception in March 2021

The government has announced a further £1.3m cash injection into its landmark family mediation scheme. It is hoped the extra investment will help more families resolve disputes, such as those involving financial or contact arrangements for children, away from court.

Mediation is often a quicker and cheaper way of resolving disputes. A trained and accredited mediator supports couples to reach agreements they are both prepared to accept, such as how to split assets or arrange child contact.

The additional funding comes only five months after the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) allocated a further £800,000 to the scheme, which was introduced in March 2021 with £1m of initial funding. 

The MoJ said 4,400 vouchers, worth £500 each, have already been used, with 77 per cent of cases reaching full or partial agreement away from court. The new funding will provide 2,440 additional vouchers. Initial research from the Family Mediation Council, who run the scheme, showed nearly half (49 per cent) of those who had benefitted from the scheme would not have considered mediation if the voucher had not been on offer.

Georgina Chase, head of family law at Slater and Gordon, said: “Resolving family issues via Mediation and outside of Court benefits all involved, most importantly children. It keeps the parties in control and encourages communication. 

“Court should be seen as a last resort; litigation is time consuming, stressful and expensive. As such, the £1.3 million investment in the Family Mediation Voucher Scheme to help families resolve legal issues outside of court is a welcomed step forward". 

Chase added: “Often, when it comes to contacting a legal representative, people assume that this is where it gets messy and complicated, however this is not true; it is possible to deal with Family law issues amicably and our aim is to encourage separating couples to consider mediation and the resolution of disputes outside of the Court arena, resulting in a happier outcome for all those involved.”

Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Dominic Raab, said: “I want to see children and their parents spared the stress and conflict of the courtroom as much as possible, and I’m delighted that thousands more will now have the opportunity to resolve their disputes in less combative way.

“At the same time, it will free up vital capacity in the family courts to ensure the system can recover quickly from the pandemic."

Lexis+ AI