Family Mediation Voucher Scheme

To read the April 2024 Government press release on the family mediation voucher scheme please click here

What is the Voucher Scheme?

The family mediation voucher scheme is a time-limited scheme (currently until March 2025), designed to support parties who may be able to resolve their family law disputes outside of court.  The Government has set up the scheme to encourage more people to consider mediation as a means of resolving their disputes, where appropriate.  To support this, a financial contribution of up to £500 towards the costs of the mediation sessions will be provide, if eligible.

Only accredited mediators, such as Peppy, authorised by the FMC are taking part in the voucher scheme.

How do I know if I am eligible for a voucher

Peppy will explain the scheme to you and will assess the issues which you seek to resolve to see if they are suitable for mediation and meet the eligibility requirements for the voucher scheme.

To be eligible for a voucher under the scheme you must be involved in:

  • A dispute/application regarding a child
  • A dispute/application regarding family financial matters where you are also involved in a dispute/application relating to a child

How will I receive a voucher?

If you are eligible, Peppy will apply for the voucher funding on your behalf it will be paid directly to Peppy Mediation once the mediation sessions are concluded.   You do not receive a physical voucher and you do not have to make the application but so Peppy can make the application, you will need to confirm your consent by signing the Consent Form that Peppy will provide to confirm that:

  • You have asked the mediator to apply for the voucher
  • You have not already applied for another voucher as part of the same scheme
  • You have given consent to Peppy to provide the necessary information to the Voucher provider, including your name and some basis information about your case.

Will the voucher cover all of my mediation costs?

The voucher is an allocation of up to £500 per case that can be used towards the mediation sessions.  How much the voucher will cover will depend on how many sessions are required and their length. Any costs not covered by the voucher will need to paid at the rate agreed with Peppy.

The voucher is not means-tested and you can still apply even if you are eligible for Legal Aid.

The voucher is a one-off financial contribution of up to £500 per case to be used towards the mediation sessions.

Your individual preliminary meeting with Peppy known as the mediation information and assessment meeting (MIAMs) is not covered by the scheme.

Further information

Source: MOJ Voucher Scheme – Analysis March 2023

The voucher scheme started on 26 March 2021 with £1.2m in funding with an aim of reducing demand on the family courts by incentivising families to use mediation and provides families with child arrangement disputes with up to £500 for use in sessions with Family Mediation Council (FMC) accredited mediators.

The family courts have faced increased demand for a number of years, the impact of which was exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. The total number of outstanding cases in the system continues to rise and cases are taking longer to reach resolution in private law cases. Prolonged parental conflict can have negative impacts on the lives of the children and families concerned.

The total number of children in the family justice system in ongoing child arrangement cases has more than doubled in the past four years – increasing from 42,009 in August 2018 to 85,706 in August 2022.

The average length of child arrangement cases from issue to final order has also almost doubled from 22 weeks in 2016 to 41 weeks in 2021.

Mediation can provide a faster and less adversarial means of resolving issues, where circumstances allow. As backlogs continued to grow in the family court, the scheme acquired additional funding throughout the rest of 2021 and 2022. Funding was increased to £8.6m in April 2022 and as of 7 March 2023, just over 15,300 families have used the scheme.

Peppy Griffiths FMCA

Peppy Mediation 

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