Charity offers help on January 4th - ‘national divorce day’

A couple going through a divorce. Picture posed by models. Photo: PA Photo/Jupiter Images Corporatio

A couple going through a divorce. Picture posed by models. Photo: PA Photo/Jupiter Images Corporation. - Credit: PA

A charity which specialises in helping families who are splitting up is planning for its busiest period of the year.

January 4 is known as national divorce day because of the high number of couples leaving each other following a stressful Christmas and New Year.

But Norfolk Family Mediation service is advising people to speak to them rather than going straight through the courts to settle a divorce.

The charity's development director, Simon Pickering, said: 'Our professional mediators are on new year alert, expecting a flood of inquiries.

'There will be many local couples who will decide to separate over the coming weeks, but they'll need more information about their options.

'It's important they consider all the possible ways they can make positive arrangements for parenting, property and finance.'

He said the increase in divorce and separation during January was due to families feeling the pressure on finances and relationships.

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Unlike visiting a solicitor and going through the courts, the charity provides a more cost-effective way of settling a dispute.

Mr Pickering 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. It's their future, after all.'

Over the past 12 months the charity, based in St John Maddermarket, Norwich, dealt with more than 600 people.

For more information, visit www.norfolkmediation.co.uk