Although legal aid is not available from solicitors for divorce and most family matters (with some exceptions, eg domestic violence), legal aid is still available for family mediation for those below the limits on income and capital. Legally aided mediation is completely free of charge and those on certain kinds of welfare benefit are ‘passported’ to free mediation. Even if you have to pay for one or more mediation meetings, collecting financial information and testing options in mediation is likely to cost much less than using two lawyers.
NB Enquirers should ask whether the mediator carrying out the initial information meeting (MIAM) is accredited to carry out a legal aid assessment for mediation.
Testimonials: The following quotes are all from real clients who wanted to let their FMA mediators know what family mediation was like for them
“Thank you for talking me through my finances, I can’t believe I was able mediate completely free of charge”
“I was impressed by the process and particularly by the empathy, professionalism and tenacity of the mediators. There is no question that without attending this process progress could not have been without considerable cost and acrimony.”
“Mediation allows both parties to have some control over their destinies and to be part of the decision making. Going to court means you are giving that power over to the Judge and the outcome may or may NOT be in your favour. Mediation is recommended if you are prepared to compromise and do your homework. I think if you have children then it is particularly helpful as they are always at the heart of one’s motivation for persevering. No child will ever be in favour of their parents battling it out in court.”