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MOJ Announces Free Mediation Service

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MOJ Announces Free Mediation Service

The latest family law reform offering free mediation for separating parties was announced by the MOJ to improve the efficiency of the family justice system.

Use of mediation

The announcement of a free single mediation for both parties, providing one is party is legally aided, is welcome news. According to the published statistics, last year 2/3 of all couples attending a single mediation session in which a child was involved reached an agreement to settle. In addition, more than 70% of couples, who opted for mediation reached an agreement. The Family Justice Minister, Simone Hughes MP stated:

“We know mediation works and we want more people to make use of it. This is why we are announcing today funding for free mediation sessions, improving the advice and information available for couples who are separating.”

Further, Ruth Sutherland, Chief Executive of Relate, said:

"We welcome the Government's renewed support for mediation as a better way to resolve disputes between separating couples. Family mediation services, such as those delivered by Relate, are facing a really difficult time and the Government's efforts to increase take up are to be welcomed."

This reform has been introduced as part of the implementation of the most significant family justice system reforms in a generation, this includes the creation of a single family court introduced on 22nd April 2014 under the Children and Families Act 2014. The funding for mediation is in place from the government for the next three years and will be reviewed at the end of that period.

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