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Divorcing couples ‘going without help’

A large number of couples in England and Wales are receiving no help during the process of divorce, a family charity has claimed.

National Family Mediation (NFM) says their helpline has experienced a significant increase in the number of calls received. In 2014, the charity received an average of 2,000 calls a month. This represents a 67 per cent increase on the previous year.

NFM CEO Jane Robey said they expect the increased number to continue throughout January. She claimed that there would be “thousands of people rooting around for the advice and help they need to kickstart their futures” this month.

Without advice, she added, couples could find themselves fighting “an acrimonious and courtroom battle that [they] can ill afford” which could leave both the couple and their children “scarred for years”.

January is a notoriously busy month for divorce in the UK, and the charity says it does not have enough staff to deal with an expected increase in demand.

Last year, an average of 770 calls to the charity went unanswered due to a lack of funding for experienced staff.

Robey said the charity is “seeking funding that would enable more specialist staff to be recruited to provide the help these families badly need”. Their concerns had been shared with Justice Minister Simon Hughes during his recent visit, she stated.

NFM is a charity which helps separating couples outside of the family court system.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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