Wiltshire law firm Stone King has seen a big increase in demand for its specialist family mediation services following cuts to legal aid for divorce cases.

The firm’s family law and mediation team in Melksham has reported a 25 per cent rise in enquiries from separating couples seeking to resolve their differences without going to court.

The increase follows the axing in April of public funding for most divorce cases – including those involving disputes about children and finances – but legal aid remains available for family mediation.

Stone King is one of just a few law firms that offer publicly-funded mediation services for couples who divorce.

Rebecca Eels from Stone King’s family law and mediation team said: “We have been inundated by former partners seeking to resolve their differences amicably and avoid the trauma of court.

“The fact that access to legal aid for mediation still exists means that many couples who might otherwise have been denied help are able to sort out their problems in a non-confrontational way.

“But it’s not just married couples and cohabitees who are benefiting.

“We have also seen an increase in the number of grandparents using mediation to resolve problems over contact with their grandchildren.

“Mediation is usually far cheaper and quicker than fighting your battles in court, and often offers longer lasting solutions.”

for all the family."