Family Mediation Week
Family Mediation Week is running from Monday 17 January to Friday 21 January and the Family Mediation Council are doing everything possible to promote and highlight this service as a way for separated couples to discuss financial matters or arrangements for their children. The start of the week’s activities coincided with a government announcement that an additional £1.3m would be spent on the family mediation voucher scheme.
During yesterday’s launch event with Lord Wolfson, the Government minister responsible for Mediation and Sir Andrew MacFarlane, the President of the Family Division, it was remarked that some mediators are still not aware of the voucher scheme. Launched last year, the scheme has so far seen 4,400 vouchers used to resolve family disputes outside of court and is where £500 is provided towards the cost of joint mediation sessions between parties. Family mediation is also one of the few services left where legal aid can be used to help meet the costs. More information about the voucher scheme can be found here.
Mediation is designed to try and keep the lines of communication open between separated parties so they attempt to resolve disputes in the most cost effective and amicable way. Both parties can have great benefit in taking legal advice alongside mediation so each party can feel best prepared to negotiate with their ex-partner. If you are considering using mediation as a way to resolve a family dispute, at Barker Gotelee we can support you though this process by advising you on your legal position as negotiations process and help prepare any final orders which might arise from reaching mutually acceptable terms with your ex-partner.
Amanda Erskine is a solicitor in the Family department at Barker Gotelee Solicitors in Ipswich.