BlogFamily Mediation

Who pays for mediation costs in the uk?

By 26th June 2024 No Comments

Family mediation costs in the UK are funded in a number of different ways.  But, ultimately, mediation is always significantly cheaper than court proceedings.

Before we begin to explore the ways in which mediation is paid for, it is important to remember there is a cost for each individual party and this should be shared.  This means in some mediation cases, the parties will be funded by different sources, depending on their eligibility.

Legal Aid for Mediation

Some clients on low income and in receipt of benefits such as Universal Credit will be eligible for legal aid. This means the entire cost of mediation (including the Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting MIAM) will be funded for them, with no financial contribution of their own.

Where only one party to the mediation is eligible for legal aid, the legal agency will cover the cost of the MIAM for both parties as well as the cost of the first mediation session. The party who is not in receipt of legal aid, will need to fund the remainder of their sessions through other means set out below.

Not all mediators can grant legal aid to their clients. Only those mediators with a legal aid contract from the Ministry of Justice and can grant legal aid. Furthermore, only mediators who have achieved the highest level of accreditation from the family mediation council can mediate clients in receipt of legal aid.  This ensures clients in receipt of legal aid receive the best possible standard of service.

Government Mediation Voucher Scheme

In an effort to encourage more families to mediate, rather than going to court, the Ministry of Justice introduced a voucher scheme which will pay up to £500 (inc VAT) towards the cost of the mediation.  If neither party is eligible for legal aid the £500 voucher is to be shared equally between them.  In most cases this will cover the costs of the first mediation session, meaning the parties would need to fund the remaining sessions themselves.

Where one party is eligible for legal aid, the non-eligible party can have full use of the £500 voucher, which should cover the cost of two mediation sessions – but remember the costs of the first mediation session would be covered by legal aid (see above).

It is important to remember the voucher can only be used in cases involving children.  The voucher cannot be used to fund the MIAM  or any subsequent fees relating to the drafting of an outcome statement.  The voucher can only be applied to mediation sessions.

The voucher scheme has proved to be very effective since it’s implementation in 2022 and has now been extended until March 2025.

Privately Funded

Most reputable mediation practices will operate a policy of transparency when it comes to their fees. This means they can easily be found on their website.

Fees typically range from £120- 170 per hour, per person depending on location in the UK. The fees are not only charged per hour/session, but are commonly charged per person, making each party to the mediation equally invested in the mediation process and ergo, equally determined to find a solution.

Crowther Mediation Family Mediation fees

At Crowther Mediation we are open and transparent about our fees and there are no hidden costs. Please visit our Family Mediation page for a breakdown of costs or if you would like to see if you are eligible for legal aid, please call us and a member of our team would be happy help.