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Mediation tumbles by almost 50 per cent

The number of family mediations funded by legal aid has plunged by 45 per cent according to new figures from the Ministry of Justice.

In October last year, 707 family mediations were launched, compared to 1281 in October the previous year. The drop is the second largest year-on-year fall since government cuts to legal aid came into effect in April 2013.

There was an even sharper 57 per cent fall in attendance at Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings (MIAMs) over the same period.

A steep drop of 35 per cent also occurred between April and October last year when compared to the same period the previous year.

The figures were obtained from the Ministry of Justice under a Freedom of Information request.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Tristan says:

    If anyone watched C4’s Benefits Street last night – compulsive, compulsory viewing to any middle class tax payer or voter – he or she would have seen an effective intervention by a helpful Surestart lady who provided assistance (probably under some duress but that’s another story) to a young couple struggling with their child.

    If they can get their people into those situations (no doubt here at the instigation of social services’ spies aka the health visitor) then private law applications to resolve disputes over custody and access ought to automatically invoke a similar Surestart intervention. Couples can then bargain safely within the shadow of the law, with a helpful shoulder to cry on for parents, mothers in particular perhaps, if indeed there are issues, real or imagined, which need to be aired and resolved by a firm hand. Taking such complaints directly to a solicitor is like applying fire to a tinderbox. And if a resident mother gets hold of free legal aid in such circumstances, expect fireworks.

    Family law remains in a real mess in this country. The government needs to start listening to parents like me who have been through the legal mill instead of civil servants like Norgrove or vested interests of the Nuffield research mould or worse, those of the legal profession, itself. Cameron’s first step ought to be to sack that family law barrister of his who is presently posing as Children’s Minister. His “reforms” such as they are a disaster before they’ve even begun.

    Mediation at £150 an hour plus when a resident parent can simply continue to dictate with impunity is a basic non-starter. Time for politicians to start applying some of that joined-up thinking which they love to prattle on about when preachingh to others.

  2. Marc Lopatin says:

    To see the full Freedom of Information data, please visit:

  3. Peter Causton says:

    This isn’t great news at a time when mediation should be increasing!

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