The Government Family Mediation Voucher Scheme
The government voucher scheme is designed to help with the cost of mediation to resolve issues relating to children following parental separation. As a fully accredited family mediation service we take part in this scheme to enable even more families to sort out arrangements for their children without having to resort to the courts. You can find out about this scheme by clicking https://www.gov.uk/guidance/family-mediation-voucher-scheme or contact us to find out more.
Who can apply for a voucher?
Not all cases are eligible but if you want to sort out:
- a dispute/application regarding a child or
- a dispute/application regarding family financial matters where you are also involved in a dispute/application relating to a child
You can ask us to apply for a mediation voucher for up to £500 towards the joint cost of mediation between you and the child’s other parent. The voucher can only be used to pay for a mediation session – so you will need to pay for your MIAMs meetings yourself.
If we are awarded a mediation voucher – what will this mean in terms of cost?
You and your ex would both need to pay for your MIAMs meeting as normal – this is £95 per person
If mediation is suitable and you both agree we can apply for a voucher, we will do this on your behalf. Vouchers are limited and we cannot guarantee they will be available for you but if one is awarded to your case, your first 2 hour mediation session will be covered by the voucher. This is often sufficient to resolve many disputes regarding children’s arrangements and will include a written outcome statement of any decisions you make in mediation. If you need further sessions, your second session will have a £20 discount on our usual price (so only £230 each for your second 2 hour session)
What if I am on a low income and cannot afford a MIAMs meeting?
To help at this difficult time we have launched our own OASIS scheme which is there to help people who are struggling to meet the cost of mediation during the pandemic.
If you are on a very low income you may be entitled to legal aid for mediation which the government encourages you to apply for instead of the mediation voucher as this may cover even more of the costs of mediation than the voucher scheme. To find out if you might be eligible for legal aid for mediation click here. We do not offer legally aided mediation but we can put you in touch with a service that does if you would like us to.
If you are not eligible for Legal Aid or want to use us anyway you can apply to our OASIS scheme for a reduced rate or free MIAMs (depending on your circumstances). If you and your ex both wish to proceed to mediation we can then apply for a mediation voucher for you. If you are not eligible for one or one is not available we will still be able to help you by offering you our special reduced rate under the OASIS scheme. For those in the most difficulty, we also have a limited number of free mediation sessions available.
For more information about OASIS please click here
What’s the catch?
There doesn’t appear to be one!
You will be asked to complete a short monitoring questionnaire. Completing this is optional.
Your mediator will be required to provide some information about your case, such as whether you reach an agreement and whether you ask the court to formalise an agreement. The data provided will be anonymised before being used to provide information about the way in which the voucher scheme and the mediation services were used.
Why apply for the voucher through us?
Only FMC registered mediation services can apply for mediation vouchers so it is important that you use a service with the Family Mediation Council logo. There are a limited number of vouchers and each family can only apply for one voucher to help resolve their case through mediation. No mediator can guarantee that you will reach agreement in mediation but with our 20 year track record and a national reputation for the highest professional standards we hope we can offer you the best chance of success.