On the 26 March 2021 the government announced that it is investing £1m in family mediation to support families in helping to resolve issues relating to children. Under the scheme, the Ministry of Justice will provide contributions of up to £500 per family to resolve issues relating to children following parental separation. Mediation will be provided by Family Mediation Council Accredited (FMCA) mediators and the fund will reduce the costs of mediation for at least 2,000 families.
Justine Osmotherley, partner and head of Clarion’s family practice which includes an FMCA accredited mediator, said: “This is a really positive move which will help hundreds of families throughout Yorkshire who find themselves struggling to reach a solution in difficult situations following separation. As a firm which has long been committed to the amicable resolution of disputes wherever possible, we are pleased to see the launch of this scheme. We are delighted to be extending our services at Clarion to include mediation with the recent recruitment of Sarah Manning, an accredited mediator who has eight years of mediation experience. ”
John Taylor, chair of the Family Mediation Council said: “This government investment in mediation is much welcomed by the Family Mediation Council. It will help separated families agree solutions that are best for their children, taking into account what is going to be important for them as they grow up. Family mediation is a proven, cost-effective way to resolve differences following separation. This voucher scheme will make it even more accessible and will help families resolve issues for themselves, without having to go to court.”
Family mediation is a process in which an independent, professionally trained mediator helps parents work out arrangements for children and finances following separation. Mediation can also be helpful when previous child arrangements need to change, particularly as children grow up.