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Mediation to replace legal aid
9:00am Thursday 21st March 2013 in News
Courts will require people to use mediation when legal aid for the majority of family law cases ends on April 1.
Cuts contained in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 mean anyone wanting to use the services of a solicitor in family disputes will have to fund themselves, except where there is clear evidence of domestic violence or child abuse or if the case concerns matters relating to child abduction or forced marriage.
However, legal aid will be retained for family mediation after April 2013, and the courts will require couples to try mediation as a first option. Mediators help people sort out their own arrangements about children and property and finances, without the need for court battles or solicitors.