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Voucher scheme for family mediation extended by government

A voucher scheme, designed to help separating couples resolve disputes out of court, has been extended by the government.

The Ministry of Justice has confirmed that an additional £800,000 will be awarded to the scheme, almost doubling an initial £1 million investment made earlier this year and helping around 2,000 more families.

The scheme, launched by the government in March, provides separating couples with a £500 voucher for mediation services with the aim of finding amicable solutions to their disagreements and freeing up space in the family courts. Normally each mediation session is charged for unless one of the parties has access to legal aid.

The MoJ says that hundreds of people have already accessed the scheme with around 130 vouchers currently being used every week. Early data from the Family Mediation Council (FMC), who run the programme, has shown that up to three-quarters of participants have been helped to reach full or partial agreement on their dispute.

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