K J Smith Solicitors

More couples seeking divorce are using family mediation, as calls to helpline double in past year

Published: 11 August 2015

A nationwide provider of family mediation services in England and Wales have revealed that their mediation helpline has seen the number of calls double in the past year, highlighting that more divorcing couples are opting for family mediation to settle their differences, rather than going to court.

National Family Mediation, a registered charity who deliver family mediation in over 500 locations across England and Wales, have reported that they received 3,400 calls to their family mediation helpline in the first half of 2015 compared to 1,600 calls in the same 6 month period in 2014, which is an increase of 112.5%.

The increase in calls coincided with statistics from the court advisory service Cafcass, which show that the number of new private law cases fell by just over 30% between April 2014 and March 2015 to 34,218, however in the last three months, this number has risen by 16%.

Chief Executive Office of National Family Mediation, Jane Robey said, "The cuts to legal aid mean the routes separating couples are taking as they try to reach settlements are becoming more convoluted."

"Before the legal aid cuts, solicitors would very often provide separating couples with some legal advice, and refer them to family mediation to reach vital settlements on property, finance and parenting."

"It may be that the government's policy, to divert people away from the legal process to mediate instead, is actually beginning to work. Couples are increasingly self-researching their options, and this is reflected the huge increase in calls to dispute resolution specialists on our telephone helpline."

"Our experience tells us people are cogitating, calculating and considering their next move. Our experts are helping more families in crisis than ever before and it's a challenge to meet the soaring demand."

Family mediation offers a more cost-effective and cooperative way of resolving conflict between warring couples then going through the courts as it encourages couples to work together to reach an agreement on matters such as child residency, assets and finances in a comfortable and supportive environment.

This can often result in a quicker settlement, with much less stress and heartache then reaching an agreement in court and can often result in a more amicable solution between separating couples, helping them to maintain a decent relationship after they have parted ways, especially when there are children involved.

If you are thinking about separation and are considering family mediation then K J Smith Solicitors can help. We have a team of highly skilled family mediators who will work with you to try and resolve any family issues in an amicable and positive manner.

For more information or to arrange a free 45 minute consultation with one of our family law specialists, contact K J Smith Solicitors today on 01491 630000 (Henley on Thames), 020 7070 0330 (London), 0118 418 1000 (Reading), 01753 325000 (Windsor) or 01256 584000 (Basingstoke).

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