The Ministry of Justice introduced a £1million voucher scheme to promote mediation in family cases. Sir Andrew McFarlane, the President of the Family Division, revealed that 77% of eligible cases reached a whole or partial agreement.
All too often couples launch into solicitor correspondence or court proceedings without having attempted mediation. Mediation is often quicker and more cost-effective than resolving matters through court. Mediation also reduces conflict and gives power back to the individuals involved rather than passing responsibility to a judge to make decisions regarding the arrangements for children, property and finance.
Whilst many people might assume family lawyers want couples to fight it out in court as that generates the most legal fees, there are many family lawyers who feel it is better for couples, and particualrly any children involved, to resolve matters amicably, where possible. It is heartening to see such positive results from the mediation voucher scheme and I hope more couples will now consider using mediation to resolve their family law issues.
More than three-quarters of family cases eligible for mediation vouchers introduced earlier this year were successfully resolved away from court, the president of the Family Division has revealed.