The Legal Aid cuts were devastating for many people, although it is still available in some circumstances and extended a little in relation to family mediation. What is the landscape now?
Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, has said on the Conservative website that money had to be saved and this is why cuts had to happen. That is understandable, but the concerns that the legal profession have raised surround vulnerable people who, according to the Government, should have access to a lawyer and are not getting legal aid. So what is available and who can receive help?
One of the big drives after the cuts was encouraging people to consider resolving problems between themselves, without needing recourse to the Courts and lawyers. This can be achieved through mediation.
Samantha Lee, family mediator says, “Mediation offers a safe and structured environment to discuss the outstanding issues that need to be resolved. It keeps the issues in the control of the parties involved, and their lives are not therefore in the hands of a Judge who is rarely able to accommodate the wishes of both parties when before making a decision.”
Is there anything positive from the Legal Aid cuts?
Well, maybe. There is legal aid available for mediation and, in a new bid to encourage this further, if one of the parties is eligible for mediation then both parties do not pay for the first joint session.
So working within the Legal Aid that has been left behind, it means that those wishing to resolve their disputes amicably are receiving more support and this will hopefully lead to agreements that stand the test of time and make separated families happier for longer.
Is mediation suitable for you? Call us today or complete the form here and discuss this with our team and we will work out the best option for you.
Or call us o023 92474040