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Louisa Gothard
Louisa Gothard
Senior Solicitor, Head of Family Law
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Family Mediation NAO Support
Date:5 MAR 2007

The National Audit Office (NAO) published its Value for Money report Legal Aid and Mediation for People involved in Family Breakdown on 2 March 2007. It states that too many family breakdown cases are going to court rather than being settled through mediation:

'Family breakdown cases which are resolved through professional mediation are cheaper and quicker to settle. And academic research shows that they secure better outcomes, particularly for children, as they are less acrimonious. However, only 20 per cent of people in cases which are funded by legal aid opt for mediation, and over half go straight to the courts'.

In a survey conducted by the NAO, one in three people who had been through a family breakdown case said they had not been told mediation was an option. Of those, 42 per cent said they would have been willing to try it: 'Use of mediation rather than the courts would have saved the taxpayer 10 million in these cases'. For the full news story see April [2007] Fam Law.

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