A new survey, commissioned as part of Family Dispute Resolution Week, indicates that out of 24 million married people in Britain, over 3 million have seriously considered getting a divorce, but have decided against it.

Family Dispute Resolution Week is a national campaign set up to highlight the alternatives to going to court for couples who have decided to separate or divorce.
The study reveals that eighty percent of people thinking about getting a divorce cite their children’s interests and well-being as their top priority, with their own financial settlement after any proceedings coming lower in their priorities.

Forty percent of the survey’s respondents believe that divorces inevitably involve conflict. This figure rises – to fifty percent – amongst people who have already gone through a divorce themselves. An even higher number of people – eighty percent of people who took part in the survey – think that it is children who suffer the most from an acrimonious divorce.

The majority of adults living in Britain have seen the effects of divorce at close hand, with most of them having watched a family member go through the process. Figures from 2010 show that there were just under 120,000 divorces England and Wales that year, up almost five percent from 2009.

With these factors in mind many couples, struggling to avoid putting their children through the stresses of seeing their parents separate or divorce, end up with their families suffering the very upset and distress that they had tried to prevent.

If you are facing a family breakdown but are anxious about seeking a solution, family mediation can help. Organizations like the National Family Mediation Services (NFMS) offer family mediation, which allows both sides of a family dispute to put their point across in an open, straightforward and calm way, with the help of professionals, but without involving lawyers and the courts. As well as giving couples a chance to reach an agreement about their future in a less stressful and more informal environment than court, mediation is usually less time consuming and less expensive.

If you would like to learn more about mediation, please contact NFMS by telephone, or email. Emails will typically to be responded to within 24 hours
All NFMS mediators are trained to be sensitive and treat any matters discussed in mediation with confidentiality. Mediation is always carried out under a strict Code of Practice.

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