The government has published new draft guidance on mediation funding, in advance of changes to the rules.
These changes are expected on 3 November 2014, in the form of amendments to the Civil Legal Aid (Financial Resources and Payment for Services) Regulations 2013.
From November 3 on, when one party in family mediation is not eligible for legal aid but the other is, the former will no longer be required to take a financial means test in relation to payment for their half of the session. Instead the government will cover the cost of the entire first session for both participants.
This will apply to the first session of mediation following the initial Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM).
The draft guidance will be finalised before the amendments come into force.
The government announced plans to introduce free initial mediation sessions in August.
Read the revised guidance here.