The number of family mediations funded by legal aid has plunged by 45 per cent according to new figures from the Ministry of Justice.
In October last year, 707 family mediations were launched, compared to 1281 in October the previous year. The drop is the second largest year-on-year fall since government cuts to legal aid came into effect in April 2013.
There was an even sharper 57 per cent fall in attendance at Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings (MIAMs) over the same period.
A steep drop of 35 per cent also occurred between April and October last year when compared to the same period the previous year.
The figures were obtained from the Ministry of Justice under a Freedom of Information request.