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More Separating Couples to Receive Free Mediation

Free mediation is to be made available to more couples who are going through a separation, the Government has announced.

From 3rd November 2014 the first mediation session will be funded for both parties, provided at least one of them is already legally aided.

This follows the introduction, on 22nd April, of compulsory Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings (MIAM) when separating couples apply to court over children and financial matters.

The Government reports that last year nearly two thirds of couples who attended mediation for a child dispute reached general agreement after a single mediation session, and almost seven out of every ten couples who opted for mediation reached a final agreement.

From 1st January next year there will be a third stage in the Government’s work to improve mediation and encourage separating couples to use it to resolve disputes.

This involves the introduction of a compulsory accreditation scheme by the Family Mediation Council (FMC), and new professional standards which all mediators must work toward. According to the Government, these new professional standards will mean that separating couples and parents can have confidence in the mediator they choose.

“Mediation works and is a more flexible, speedy and often more cost effective way to resolve disputes,” explained Family Justice Minister Simon Hughes MP. “I’m strongly committed to it being a successful and thriving part of the family justice system.”

“Our objective is to see more people resolving issues and reaching agreements on their own terms through mediation,” he added. “It is often more successful, less expensive and less stressful than going to court and that is why we are committed to making sure more people use it.”

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

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