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Family mediation take-up rising, but not yet out of the woods
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likely to signal further improvement on significant
Data from National Family Mediation
(NFM) shows a significant
rise in the take-up of its services in the first 6 months of
NFM was reflecting
on data covering its affiliated services and mediators from 1 January to 30 June
, Chief Executive of NFM said:
family mediation services nationwide suffered a downturn in 2013 after the
Government overhauled legal aid, the signs for the profession are positive in
the first half of 2014.
varies across the country, but in a number of our service areas increases of 30
to 40 per cent in numbers of people attending mediation compared with the same
period in 2013 are common.
There is no
doubt a greater proportion of people are reaching agreement through mediation,
realising they can successfully settle family matters in an affordable
it’s clear the change in the law effective from April has signalled an upturn,
family mediation is not yet out of the woods. Our mediators and managers will
continue working tirelessly to show the value of mediation, which is quicker,
less stressful and usually cheaper than going to court.'
Children and Families Act, implemented on 22 April 2014, it became compulsory
for people to attend a mediation information and assessment meeting
session before they can apply for a court order.
Jane Robey added that as we head into the autumn, family mediators are
optimistic the rise will continue:
often report a quiet time during the summer, but referrals were unseasonably
high in August this year. And after the holiday period, September signals a
return to the routine of work and school. Very often this is when couples make
decisions to separate, as the temporary glimmer of hope signalled by the
sunshine and break-in-routine is well and truly