Couples missing out on vital help during 'divorce month'

Alternative approaches to making settlements save time, money and stress

Thousands of couples who are looking to separate this January will miss out on the help they desperately need because they don’t know which way to turn, a leading family charity has warned.

Over 100,000 marriages end each year, and January sees a traditional rise in divorce and separation as families emerge from the festive season having been battered by pressures on finances and relationships that have been highlighted during the holiday.

So staff at family dispute specialists, National Family Mediation (NFM), are on new year alert, gearing up for a huge increase in calls, emails and website visits.

“At a time of crisis, you need to know where you can turn for help,” says Jane Robey, CEO of NFM.

“There will be many couples who’ve decided for sure in the last couple of weeks to separate, but they’ll need more information about their options as they look to make arrangements for parenting, property and finance.  

“Many will think they must head off to a solicitor to prepare for a very expensive and protracted court room confrontation in which they can achieve a ‘victory’ over their ex. But there are alternative approaches that are quicker, much cheaper and much less stressful.

“There is no need to leave it to a court to make vital life-changing decisions,” she says.

“You can instead choose to talk with a professional family mediator who will help you agree on the vital things that need to be sorted for the future.  Family mediation is a much, much quicker process, allowing you to remain in control of all the decisions affecting your family’s future,” she added.

“Professional mediators are highly skilled third party negotiators with experience in helping families create long-term solutions that work well for their particular circumstances. Rather than leaving it to a court to decide who will live where, what happens to the money, debts and pensions, and arrangements for the children, mediation empowers families themselves to decide these things.”
NFM’s professionally accredited family mediators can help families resolve all the practical, legal, emotional and financial issues that arise from separation. Most importantly, they can help families make long lasting arrangements that benefit their children.

Legal Aid remains available for family mediation.

Anyone wanting to know more can call 0300 4000 636 to find their nearest professional non-profit family mediator or type in their postcode at