Changes to Legal Aid

Recent changes to Legal Aid mean that less people will qualify for financial assistance through their divorce. However, this may not be a bad thing. Mediation services are fast becoming a standard when it comes to divorce proceedings, with more and more law firms offering mediation services to their clients.
In fact, only cases dealing with domestic violence or child-protection now go straight to court. Most other cases are passed through mediation services firstly.
This can be a lot quicker and a lot cheaper, with cases lasting on average just 110 days compared to 450 for non-mediated divorces. Ministry of Justice figures also suggest that the average cost of mediation is £535, compared to £7,000 for litigated cases.
Where mediation services can be seen as a scary prospect for many divorcing couples, in realist it is a fairly straightforward process. Initially there is an assessment to identify the key factors, mostly children or finances, then four or five 90 minute sessions spread over a few weeks. A ‘memorandum of understanding’ is then produced which can form the basis of a legal settlement.
To learn more about mediation in divorce please contact us on 0845 548 1007.