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Bullring Shopping CentreStatistics show that Birmingham has the busiest divorce court in England and Wales.

2,655 couples filed for divorce at Birmingham Civil Justice Centre and Family Courts, the highest number of divorces filed at any court in the UK.

Courts in Birmingham, Weston-super-mare and Coventry head the list released by the government last week, followed by Romford, Leicester and Bristol and then Norwich, Leeds, Chelmsford and Manchester.

In an effort to tackle the rising rate of divorce, the government has launched new initiatives to encourage couples to use out-of-court methods to resolve their disputes.

On April 22nd new legislation which will come into effect which will ensure separating parents and couples have to consider using mediation to resolve issues such as divorce and separation.

Mediation takes place away from court and can often be quicker and cheaper than traditional litigation. Many people find that alternative dispute resolutions, such as mediation, can be less stressful than going to court.

Mediation uses negotiation to reach agreements which both people are prepared to live with, rather than having them dictated by the court.

Mediation is led by a trained and certified mediator and couples can ask a court to consider and make their agreement into a legally binding order.

Family Justice Minister Simon Hughes has called on couples to access the new user-friendly Family Mediation Council website to find a mediator in their area.

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.”

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