Norwich has been revealed as one of the top ten busiest divorce courts in England and Wales.

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Thousands of separating couples are being urged to spurn confrontational courtroom battles and use mediation to sort out disputes over their property, finances and children, after new figures were published by the government.

Last year 1,655 couples decided to go their separate ways and file for divorce at Norwich County Court, the seventh highest number of any court in the UK.

In light of these figures, Family Justice Minister Simon Hughes has called on parents and couples who have made the difficult decision to divorce to use mediation to sort out disputes over their property, finances and children, rather than face the stressful experience of going to court. Birmingham family court is the busiest in the country according to the figures.

Mr Hughes said: “Mediation works in helping to sort out disputes over finances and children. We are committed to making sure that more people make use of it rather than go through the confrontational and stressful experience of going to court.

“These figures show thousands of people are sadly still divorcing each year. We want them to do it in the least damaging way for everyone involved, especially children. That is why we want them to use the excellent mediation services available to agree a way forward, rather than have one forced upon them in the courts.”

For more information, visit the Family Mediation Council website at www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk.

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