Last week, 17– 21 January 2022, was Family Mediation Week, which was organised by the Family Mediation Council. The aim of this week was to raise awareness of the benefits of mediation for separating couples, to help them resolve issues together without the need for going through lengthy and costly court hearings, thereby creating a positive future for their family.
To coincide with Family Mediation Week, the government announced, on 17 January 2022, additional funding of £1.3m for the Mediation Voucher Scheme. Since its inception in March 2021, 4,400 vouchers have already been used. The Family Mediation Council has carried out initial research of the first 2,000 vouchers used. They found that, of those couples, 77% reached full or partial agreement without the need for court intervention. In addition, of those couples, 49% said they would not have considered mediation if they voucher scheme had not been available.
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.”
The additional funding, which will take investment in the scheme to over £3m, will provide 2,440 additional vouchers, each with a value of £500, to eligible couples. The hope will be that awareness of the benefits of family mediation will be raised even further and that couples will chose to resolve matters together, with the assistance of a qualified mediator.
If you would like any further information about the benefits of mediation, or would like to proceed with mediation, then please contact our Rosalyn O’Donnell-Teelan, who is a qualified mediator.