Family mediation – it really is cheaper and quicker – and that’s official

Anybody who has browsed this website, or who has read any of my earlier blog entries, will know that we are big fans of both the family mediation and collaborative law approaches to solving disputes arising out of relationship breakdown. Apart from all the other benefits such as reducing conflict, giving parties control, reassuring children that their parents are working together in the interests and generally making the whole process more dignified, we have always been utterly convinced that family mediation is much quicker and often much cheaper.

So it was nice to come across some official statistics that back me up. According to the National Audit Office “Value for Money Report”, family mediation services really do resolve family disputes more quickly and cheaply. Now, I should point out at this stage, that this report is hardly bang up to date – it’s over five years old and also did relate to family mediation using public funding [as we must now call legal aid] – but I’m pretty sure that the principles are sound.

According to the National Audit Office, the average family law dispute case dealt with by family mediators are sorted out in an average of just 110 days – which is quite remarkable when you compare that to the average length of non-mediated cases – an amazing 435 days! What’s more, the National Audit Office reports the average cost per client of resolving family law disputes using mediation was just £535 compared to £2,823 for disputes dealt with by the courts – again using public funding.

So there you have it – official proof that in addition to all its other benefits family mediation really is cheaper and quicker.