The Family Justice Minister Simon Hughes has announced the introduction of more free mediation sessions for separating couples as part of the latest reforms to the family justice system.
The announcement of a single mediation session for both parties if one of them is already legally aided is the latest stage of reforms and follows recommendations made by the independent Mediation Task Force.
Since April 2014, couples have been under a legal requirement to go to an initial mediation information and assessment meeting prior to going to court. This does not apply in certain circumstances, such as in cases involving domestic violence.
At present only the legally aided party can attended a mediation session for free, meaning there is a cost for the other member of the separating couple, which may deter them from taking part.
The Government’s announcement of funding ‘one single mediation session for everyone’ where one party is already legally aided will see more free sessions being funded by the Government with a view to helping separating couples avoid confrontational courtroom battles.
For advice or assistance on family related matters please contact our Litigation Team on 020 8502 3991.