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Additional funding for mediation

New measures are being put in place to support separating couples at the time of year when the number of people considering separation and divorce is at its peak.

Experts say the post-Christmas period is when the most enquiries about separation and divorce are made – so much so that the first working day in January is dubbed 'Divorce Day' by many in the legal sector. Last year the number of searches for information about divorce on the Ministry of Justice's website almost doubled in January and the Government information website also saw increased interest.

The Government is now taking steps to ensure that couples who make the decision to separate give consideration to using mediation – a quicker, simpler and more effective way of agreeing how they divide their assets or arrange child contact, which avoids the traumatic and divisive effect of courtroom battles.

In recent years greater numbers of people have been successfully using mediation – where they are helped to agree the issues between themselves rather than argue it out through lawyers with a judge taking the final decisions – and the Government expects to invest an additional £10 million this year (taking the total spent to £25 million) so more couples can do the same.

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