Family dispute specialists who are part of the country’s largest network of family mediators are preparing for what could be their busiest time of the year, as couples across the region make it their new year resolution to end their relationships after a stressful holiday period.
 
Staff at the National Family Mediation (NFM) charity say in their experience Christmas often proves the final straw for relationships that have been fragile for some time. Their specialism offers an alternative means for those couples to make settlements over money, parenting and property – rather than heading straight off to a lawyer and teeing up an acrimonious family court battle.
 
"Our professional mediators are on new year alert, expecting a flood of enquiries,” says Jane Robey, the CEO of NFM. “We know there will be many, many couples who have decided for sure to separate, yet who need more information about their options. It’s important they consider all the possible ways they can make arrangements that are genuinely in the interests of everyone in the family, especially the children.
 
“January usually sees a rise in divorce and separation, as relationships that have hung by a thread for some time finally snapped over Christmas. 
 
“So the question becomes: What do we do next? And the answer doesn’t have to be heading off to a lawyer to prepare for an expensive court room battle which they hope ends in ‘victory’ over their ex.
 
“Our 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 judge 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. It’s their future after all.”
 
Legal Aid remains available for family mediation.
 
Anyone wanting to know more can head to www.nfm.org.uk or call 0300 4000 636.

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