Free for all mediation sessions
11 November 2014 by Kate Taylor
As from 3rd November, separating couples with one party who would qualify for legal aid can now attend one session of mediation for free. Previously, only the legally aided party could have the session for free, so that there was a cost for the other party.
In April of this year, compulsory Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings (MIAMs) with an accredited mediator were introduced for anyone who wished to issue court proceedings, except in very limited circumstances. According to the government, last year nearly two thirds of couples who attended a single mediation session for a child dispute reached a full agreement. Almost seven out of every ten couples who opted for mediation reached an agreement.
When the proposals were announced in August, Family Justice Minister Simon Hughes MP said:
‘Earlier this year we introduced major reforms to the family justice system to reduce delays and keep families away from court. But this is not the end of the process. Too many families still end up in court locked in confrontational, damaging and expensive court battles. We know mediation works and we want more people to make use of it. This is why we are announcing today funding for free mediation sessions, improving the advice and information available for couples who are separating.’
Kate Taylor, Head of Fisher Jones Greenwood Family Mediation is accredited to provide MIAMS and offers both legally aided and privately funded mediation services to separating couples.
The Government press release from November can be viewed here.
Form more information about the mediation process, and the matters suitable for mediation, click here.