Could the Family Mediation Voucher Make Mediation More Affordable for You?

Picture of Anna Vollans

Anna Vollans

Founder of Vollans Mediation

Back in 2021, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) launched a Mediation Voucher Scheme providing a contribution of up to £500 towards the mediation costs per family for eligible cases, supporting people in resolving their family law disputes outside of court and reducing costs for thousands of families.

How does the voucher scheme work in practice?

Participants attend an individual Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM) where a mediator will be able to tell you whether you’re eligible for a voucher. If the dispute relates to a child or financial matters where you’re also involved in a dispute relating to a child, you’ll be eligible. You’ll be required to sign a form allowing us to apply on your behalf and any contribution will be paid directly to us once the mediation sessions are concluded.

The Mediation Voucher is limited to funding joint mediation sessions only, so cannot be used to cover the cost of assessment meetings (MIAMs) or preparing any paperwork. Only one Voucher can be claimed per family as a one-off contribution.

The Voucher contribution will be split between the participants if both are paying in full. If one of you receives Legal Aid, the Voucher contribution will help with costs for the other person.

Anna recently contributed to a Ministry of Justice Press release in which Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary, Alex Chalk KC, said:

Separation can be incredibly painful, but we know it is made more traumatic with toxic and protracted courtroom battles, which can cause lasting damage to children.

Research sheds light on a sobering reality: when children are exposed to intense and unresolved parental conflict, the repercussions can be profound and lasting. The trauma of witnessing parental conflict can manifest in various ways, taking a toll on children’s mental, emotional, and physical well-being.

The Ministry of Justice Press release featured one of Anna’s clients, Jessica, who said:

We tried hard to be amicable, we didn’t want the children seeing us argue. But when emotions are high it’s hard for both people to have their say without it spiraling into arguments, and we’d got to a point where we just couldn’t do it on our own. Anna was an absolute lifeline, she really helped us to keep calm. Having somebody impartial, who neither of us knew, and who understands how it all works meant we got things sorted really quickly. I wouldn’t have wanted to drag my children through the courts, I just think it would be horrendous. The thought of them being put in a position where they have to choose between parents is awful.

The vouchers are hugely beneficial because they allow people to try mediation. Most are surprised to discover they can reach a resolution in just a few sessions; they can leave with clear parenting and financial plans with the confidence to make it work, without the need for lawyers or courts. So many people believe court is the only option, and sometimes that is the best way to go, but in almost all cases, as long as it’s safe, it’s worth trying mediation first.

The financial value of mediation must not be underestimated. A husband who recently came to us was quoted between £20,000 and £40,000 by a solicitor to sort out child and financial arrangements through court. He was able to reach a resolution at five mediation sessions, costing him less than a thousand pounds after being subsidised by the voucher.

Please get in touch if you would like to find out more about the mediation process or the availability of the Mediation Voucher. You can fill out the form on our contact page here or call us on 0113 213 3662. One of our friendly Mediation Assistants will contact you as soon as possible to answer any queries you might have.

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