Ministers are set to invest an additional £10m in mediation services in an attempt to encourage uncontested divorce, according to reports.
Research has suggested that an average divorce costs £4,000, with contested matters costing considerably more. Recent figures have shown that mediation costs £500 on average, and are also completed almost four-times quicker than non-mediated matters.
This announcement has come following what is often referred to within the legal sector a ‘Divorce Day’: the first working day following the Christmas break when dissatisfied spouses are more likely to initiate a divorce.
It is hoped that through encouraging mediation, more and more separated couples will arrive at informal arrangements without the need to engage in lengthy and expensive proceedings.
This extra funding is to be used to subsidise mediation services in spite of the fact that recent figures released by the Office for National Statistics revealed that the divorce rate is currently as its lowest level since the seventies.
Critics of mediation have claimed that it is only successful when both parties are fully dedicated to resolving all contentious issues and is more likely to benefit the more successful spouse when there is significant disparity between the two parties.