Ministers to pump money into mediation services as legal aid is withdrawn for family law

Ministers have promised millions in taxpayers’ money to help people end their marriages more easily.

The cash will subsidise mediation services, designed to allow couples to negotiate how to divide their property and look after their children.

To mark ‘divorce day’, family justice minister Lord McNally pledged an extra £10million for the services, saying they offer ‘a quicker and simpler approach which brings better outcomes’ for families.

The Ministry of Justice said on average the extra cash means that a divorce will last a quarter of the time and save £3,500 for husbands and wives claiming legal aid to pay for lawyers.

Whitehall calculations say a mediated divorce funded by the state costs £500 as opposed to £4,000 for one argued in the courts, and that a mediated split takes 110 days rather than the 435 days for contested divorces.

The extra money means mediation will be subsidised to the tune of £25million this year.

This post was written by Mark Keenan. Editor of the Divorce Online Blog and Managing Director of Online Legal Service Ltd. Mark has been writing about divorce and related subjects for over 20+ years and is an expert in legal marketing.

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