New £500 Mediation Voucher Scheme

Some people believe family mediation is free, I'm afraid to say it is not, but it is far cheaper than most of the other forms of ADR available. With Legal Aid, reduced fees for people of the Real Living Wage and the Family Mediation Vouchers from the Ministry of Justice - we are able to keep the costs as low as possible for you.

The Government runs a voucher scheme, which the Trust is part of. These vouchers enable each family to access a £500 towards the cost of their mediation sessions. The aim is to encourage people to seek resolution of their disputes outside of court. The funds will be administered through an easy to access mediation voucher.

These vouchers represent a real opportunity for clients who feel the cost of mediation is stopping them from accessing mediation. Working alongside the Legal Aid funding, these vouchers have the ability to make mediation of child cases accessible for everyone.

Key information about the vouchers:

  • The voucher is to support the cost of mediation and does not cover the cost of MIAMs.
  • The vouchers can be used in conjunction with Legal Aid support.
  • The Family Mediation Trust will undertake all administration relating to the voucher, so the client does not need to worry.
  • The vouchers will be discussed with clients at MIAM stage. 
  • The vouchers can only be used for mediation relating to child matters. 
  • The voucher funds will be distributed equably between both parties.
  • The vouchers have a four month expiry date. 

Further details on the voucher scheme can be found at

How much does mediation cost?

The cost of mediation will vary according to your income level:

  • If you are on a very low income, you are likely to be eligible for Legal Aid support. 
  • If you just miss out on Legal Aid then, as we are a charity, we are able to offer a 1/3 discount on all full mediation sessions. 
  • If you fail to fulfil the criteria for the above two options, then you will be charged at our standard rates. 

The following table sets out the relevant rates:



Mediation Session


Mediation session (for those on less than the Living Wage)




Child Inclusive Mediation (Child Session)


Re-Issue of Papers



If less than 3 working days’ notice - no refund

Co-Mediation uplift

40% on the mediation fee per session

Shuttle Mediation Supplement


Legal Aid Deposit


1) All prices above include VAT.

2) All payments must be made before a mediation session or MIAM is booked.

3) The deposit is retained until the Legal Aid assessment is complete. 

4) The discounted rate is based on a client's ability to pay and does not count towards sessions covered by other support such as the vouchers. 

5) All prices are per party, for example: if the mediation session is run as a shuttle session, then both parties will have to pay the £30 supplement to the mediation charge of either £135 or £200.

6) Mediation sessions last up to 90 minutes. 

7) Co-mediation is a model adopted for cases that have high levels of complexity, the decision for co-mediation will be made by the mediator. 

What is Legal Aid and will I be eligible?

To establish whether you are eligible for Legal Aid for mediation, take a look at the Legal Aid Calculator:

If you would like us to assess whether you are eligible for Legal Aid in your mediation assessment meeting (MIAM), you will need to bring certain documents to your assessment meeting - we cannot assess your eligibility without these documents.  Here is a current checklist of documents you will need to bring: Legal Aid Information of Clients current.pdf.  Please note that you must bring paper copies, so that we can photocopy the evidence for our records; online or 'phone records are not sufficient.  If you are unable to bring a paper copy, please contact us to arrange to send an email copy prior to your assessment meeting. 

If the assessment finds that you are not eligible for Legal Aid, or if you are unable to produce the evidence needed to assess you, you will be charged by our standard rates.

When do I pay?

We take payment when we make a booking for a meeting. 

How can I pay?

We take payment at the point you make the booking over the 'phone.  We will accept payment via a credit or debit card.  If you reserve a meeting through the website, then you will need to call to make payment.  Failure to do this will mean that the meeting will not take place. 

We would like to do a shuttle mediation session, what is the cost implication of this?

These sessions cost the Service more to run, so we do need to make a charge to cover these costs.  The supplement fee for a shuttle mediation is £30 per person. 

What happens if I cancel?

Our policy is:

  • For all private clients, the Service requires 3 working days' notice for a cancellation.  If the cancellation is less than 3 working days from the booking, then the Service is unable to refund the cost of the session. If the case is funded through a mediation Voucher then a charge of the standard mediation fee will be made before the mediation can be rebooked. 
  • For Legal Aid assessments, if the cancellation is less than 48 hours before a mediation session, then a charge of £25 will be made.  If the Legal Aid assessment has been undertaken there is no charge for non-attendance, but we would ask that you notify the Service as soon as possible. 
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