Contents

What is Legally Aided Mediation?

What Mediation Cases are Funded?

How do I get Legal Aid for Mediation?

What evidence do I need to provide?

Additional evidence about your living arrangements

What the mediator will do

 

What is Legally Aided Mediation?

 
Legal Aid is provided by the government to cover the cost of receiving professional family mediation services for families who are in dispute. It is means tested which means you have to provide evidence of your current financial circumstances to prove that you are entitled to receive Legal Aid.
 
If you are eligible, then Legal Aid will cover all your individual mediation costs plus the initial appointment and first mediation meeting cost for the other person if they are not eligible in their own right.
 
What Mediation Cases are Funded?
 
At your initial appointment (the MIAM) the mediator will spend time discussing what issues need resolving in mediation. Not every kind of family mediation case is eligible for funding from Legal Aid. Examples of cases the Legal Aid Agency would consider eligible are:
You are getting divorced and need to sort out financial arrangements
Child arrangements have broken down and you are not seeing your children
Any dispute following family breakdown that may end up in court
 
How do I Get Legal Aid for Mediation?
 
The mediator will complete a form called a CIVMEANS7 at your initial MIAM meeting, which you will then sign and date. This helps us calculate your income and outgoings - documents confirming your income need to be brought to your meeting and attached to the form. 
 
As a guide, you may be eligible if:
You receive Income Support, Universal Credit, income based JSA, income based ESA, Pension Guarantee Credit
You live on your own and your household income is less than £17,000 p.a.
You live with a partner and/or dependent children and your household income is less than £21,000 p.a.
 
We usually require pre-payment for all our meetings – please see fees and payment terms using this link. Once your Legal Aid assessment is complete, and you are confirmed as eligible we will refund your fee – in most instances this is the full amount you paid prior to your assessment. 
 
We make no up-front charges if you receive one of the income based benefits set out below - simply send the income evidence required for your assessment to FREEPOST, NATIONAL FAMILY MEDIATION or email a copy to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
If you currently have a partner and you live together, we will need information about their income too, as set out below.
 
What evidence do I need to provide?
 
The evidence we will need is your benefit letter confirming receipt of:
Income Support
Income Based JSA
Income Based ESA
Universal Credit
Guarantee Credit
 
If you are employed...
 
1. Your most recent payslip(s) – bring payslips covering a whole month if you are paid weekly 
2. Bank statement(s) – each account money you live on is paid into (salary, benefits, business  or other income)
3. Your most recent letter confirming the amount of Tax credits you receive
 
If you are self employed or own a business...
 
1. Bank statement(s) – each account money you live on is paid into (salary, benefits, business  or other income) 
2. Your most recent letter confirming the amount of Tax credits you receive
3. Invoice/cash book or working accounts 
4. Latest self-assessment tax return or latest audited accounts
 

If you receive an income based benefit...

 
Benefit notification or most recent letter notifying a change in benefit amount. The letter must be less than six months old and state which benefit you receive. 
 
If your letter is more than six months old then please also send your most recent bank statement, which will show that your benefit is still in payment 
 
OR
 
Ask the DWP or Jobcentre Plus to provide you with a letter confirming you are still in receipt of your benefit 
 
 
Additonal evidence about your living arrangements
 
We will also need information about your rent / mortgage payments, payments you are making for child care and any savings or investments you have. 
 
If you own your home you will need to have a rough idea of its current value and the amount of equity/mortgage you have.
 
If you receive child support or spousal maintenance this also counts as income, even if the payment is by way of direct payments for bills, rent or mortgage. 
 
We also need to take account of any financial help given by friends and relatives.
 
We will keep a copy of any documents provided and return the originals to you.
 
What the mediator will do
 
The mediator will do the calculation based on your income in the month up to the date of your assessment
 
This means we will need paperwork covering that period – if you are unable to provide this we may not be able to complete the assessment. 
 
Audit of Files
 
Our files are kept for six years and the Legal Aid Agency may ask to audit legally aided cases at any point during that time to ensure that our paperwork and office processes are in order.
 
Any questions?
 
Contact the Mediation Team on 0300 4000 636 if you have any questions
 
 
 

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Charity No: 1074796

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National Family Mediation

Civic Centre, Paris St, Exeter EX1 1JN

Tel: 0300 4000 636

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