Taylor&Emmet hails additional family mediation funds

Taylor&Emmet hails additional family mediation funds

Family law experts at Taylor&Emmet have welcomed the extension of funding that will allow more couples from across South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire to access mediation. 

 The Ministry of Justice has made a further £800,000 available, in vouchers up to the value of £500, for participants in family mediation who are not eligible for legal aid.

Dawn Lowry, a family law expert based in Taylor&Emmet’s Rotherham office and qualified mediator, said: “We are really pleased that this scheme, which was launched in March, is being extended and at the current run rate, the funding should last until mid-December. It has already benefited a number of local families who wished to use the mediation process to make arrangements for children and I hope it will now assist many more.”

Free mediation is available to individuals who qualify for legal aid, however, if their partner is funding the mediation privately, they are responsible for their fees from the second session onwards, which can cause disengagement.

Using the voucher scheme, the private client can access additional funding, allowing them to continue with the process. In some circumstances, this may mean another two or three mediation sessions can be undertaken before payment is required and, in many cases, this would be sufficient to resolve the issues, according to Taylor&Emmet.

The voucher scheme is being coordinated by the Family Mediation Council and is accessible to all its accredited mediators. In cases where both parties are funding a separation privately, pre-mediation meetings, MIAMs, would be payable at £108 each, before the voucher could be applied. This should then fund two sessions, or one longer meeting, as required.

Lowry added: “Mediation has always been a cost-effective, quicker and less stressful alternative to court proceedings and this voucher scheme has made it even more so. I would urge anyone considering the process as a means of resolving child arrangements to act now, before the funding comes to an end.”

Pictured: Taylor&Emmet mediator Dawn Lowry (right), with the firm’s head of family law, Michaela Evans
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Mark Dugdale

Mark is the Editor of Yorkshire Legal. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached by emailing mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk