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Legal aid still available for mediation
7:00am Wednesday 23rd October 2013 in Business
LEGAL aid in family cases is now a thing of the past, right? Wrong. Legal Aid is no longer available for most cases concerning relationship breakdown which, previously, would have gone to Court but is still available for family mediation, writes Janet Place.
UNDER the new rules, if an individual fits the current criteria of eligibility on means testing and wishes to pursue mediation, the Legal Aid Authority (LAA) will pay.
Furthermore, if their former partner is not eligible for funding on assessment, the LAA will cover the cost of both Initial Assessment Meetings (MIAM) in an attempt to encourage Mediation as an alternative to court disputes, saving the parties both time and money.
Mediation is a more relaxed and non-judgemental way of resolving issues which allows people to reach their own solutions to matters arising on separation, rather than court imposed ones.
The first meeting involves a person having their own individual meeting (MIAM) with a mediator to discuss the mediation process and their own circumstances. After that, the parties usually meet together with a mediator, or mediators, to find a solution to their issues. This can take a few sessions. If the parties do not feel able to meet together then meetings can take place with the parties being in separate rooms and the mediator moving between rooms, known as shuttle mediation.
Janet Place works at Fountain Mediation, a mediation company based in Middlesbrough dealing with family disputes, holds a legal aid contract and quality mark and is therefore qualified to assist with all aspects of family breakdown.
Furthermore, five of the six strong team of qualified and accredited mediators are barristers located in Middlesbrough. It has facilities across the North-East.
If you would like to know more about mediation call the firm on 01642 260455.
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