The decorations are back in the loft and the turkey is a distant memory. January 1st is the day for new beginnings; resolutions that may change your life forever. Along with losing weight, eating or drinking less, ending a relationship can be high on the list after a stressful festive period.
In an article published in the Daily Mail this week Ruth Sutherland, chief executive of Relate, explained that January is one of the busiest times of the year for their relationship counsellors. She said: ‘New Year is a time many of us assess how life is going and this can make people think about how relationships are faring’.
The first week of January has oft been touted as the busiest week for starting divorce proceedings, and is quoted as being the second most popular month to file a divorce (the most popular being September after the summer holidays). Mediation Now expects a surge in demand this month with clients seeking help for how to go about their separation.
Helen Savage, Director and Mediator says that “every year since the company started in 2007, the volume of calls to Mediation Now in January has increased and this year is expected to be no exception. It follows five years of debt, belt tightening and many couples have been holding things together by a thread. In 2013 we saw an increase of 20% in the referrals between January and March compared to the same period in 2012.”. Fellow Director and Mediator Claire Webb went on “separation and divorce usually involve a major crisis for a family. Much needs to be discussed and resolved at a time when there may be a lot of anger or distress. Family mediation can be of huge assistance to separating couples, as it enables people to talk openly about what they would like for the future, thereby reaching joint decisions.”.
Mediation is well known to be quicker and less expensive than the traditional solicitor or court route – with court cases costing around £30,000 per couple outside of London. If that is unaffordable, then consider the risk and emotional cost of couples acting for themselves. Unlike other areas of law, legal aid is still available for couples who mediate and who are on a low income. Mediation Now also offers a sliding scale of fees for those less well off clients who are outside the legal aid criteria, but who nevertheless have a low income and low capital.
Mediation Now is one of the most well known providers of family mediation in South Hampshire, offering mediation and life coaching. It also offers the new Changing Lives Now course wholly funded by the DWP, being one of only ten national firms to have won funding in December 2013.