The Family mediation voucher scheme was launched in March 2021 by the Ministry of Justice as a way of providing incentive to couples to work out arrangements themselves and avoid going to court. This was in the context of court backlogs caused partly by the pandemic. The scheme was originally administered by the Family Mediation Council and now by Opia Limited.
Following on from an initial meeting (MIAM) if both parents agree to proceed with mediation, an accredited mediator who is part of the scheme can apply for a voucher. This guarantees £500 (in total and including VAT) towards the cost of the mediation. This means that parents would not need to pay for a first full mediation through Aurora family mediation and that they would not need to pay for some of their second meeting. The vouchers are not means tested unlike legal aid.
How do clients apply
Consent is needed from both parents and the mediator will request this from them and send it to Opia Limited. The voucher comes through within 7 days or sooner, after a request has been made.
What does the voucher cover
The vouchers can be requested where there is a dispute regarding a child or where there is a dispute or application regarding family financial matters where they are also involved in a dispute or application regarding a child. The voucher does not cover paperwork. It does not cover the initial meeting (MIAM) or child inclusive mediation.
The scheme is set to run until some time in 2025
For more information please contact us on 01462 429735 Online and across Hertfordshire Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire