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The #ASM Plus Family Team welcomes the recent announcement by the UK Government’s courts minister confirming that with effect from 1st April 2021 up to 2000 couples involved in family break up can apply for a £500 grant to pay for family mediation which has been reported in the Daily Telegraph newspaper.* The ASM Plus family team subscribes to this initiative.  We give it our full support and welcome all enquiries.

The UK courts minister Lord Wolfson QC, is on record as having confirmed that “Mediation is often a quicker, cheaper and less stressful way of resolving disputes, which helps separating couples reach amicable agreements without an unnecessary and often acrimonious court process”.

Additionally, the UK Ministry of Justice has undertaken research which indicates that:

One in five of the family break-up cases involving more than 50,000 children each year could be resolved outside courts. More than 70 per cent of couples using mediation services resolved their issues outside of the courtroom.

Although it may be argued that the UK government has only belatedly acknowledged what many others already consider to be self-evident, Lord Wolfson’s initiative – a UK government first – unequivocally confirms just how effective and valuable mediation is both to private individuals and to government.

ASM Plus trusts that in the light of these unequivocal confirmations Lord Wolfson and his colleagues will shortly confirm that further family mediation funding will be made available and in liaison with the family judiciary and family mediators he will urgently enact a comprehensive legislative framework which will confirm both that he is fully supportive of mediation and that he has the full support of his senior governmental colleagues.  Equally, we trust that similar legislative exercises will be undertaken in respect of the civil and criminal courts and the Employment Tribunal so as to ensure that a meaningful sequence of mediation related requirements is prescribed.

*Divorcing couples paid £500 to stay out of the courts.

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