Official government figures show that although the number of people taking up family mediationhas fallen in the 12 months to June 2014, those who do take up the opportunity have become more successful in achieving a full agreement. In 2012-13 only 67% of couples managed to get their arrangements sorted out through family mediation; in 2013-14, this rose to 79%.
The government cut legal aid in 2013, and made changes to the legal system to drive couples to consider alternatives in dispute resolution, in a bid to reduce the number of cases ending up in court.
However, figures have revealed that fewer couples than ever are going through mediation. There have been calls for the government to remove the charge for the initial Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) to encourage a better take-up of professional mediation services, but as yet, there has been no indication that they will do so.
As a result however, the court system is now struggling to cope with large numbers of litigants in person – people who do not have any legal representative but present their own case in court.
Are you going through a separation or divorce from your partner and wondering what to do? If almost 4 out of 5 couples who attend family mediation can reach an agreement that suits them and can avoid the costly business of going to court, maybe it would be a viable alternative for you too. But if mediation is not for you, are you willing to risk all in a DIY divorce, or would you prefer to have a solicitor’s wealth of expertise and experience on your side? Andrew Isaacs Solicitors can help you through difficult times; contact us whether you are looking for excellent legal representation or high quality mediation services.