06/01/2012 05:23 GMT | Updated 07/03/2012 05:12 GMT

Don't Get Divorced, Urges Government

The government is urging couples who are sick of the sight of each other after Christmas to not get divorced, and consider mediation instead. This latest attempt at fostering social cohesion comes from justice minister Jonathan Djanogly, who made the plea to couples as the seasonal post-Christmas breakups begin in earnest.

In a press release Djanogly said: "New Year is a time when couples can decide to part ways - but by turning to mediation instead of the courts people can take charge of their own futures and work towards a better outcome for everyone involved.

"Mediation is a quicker, cheaper and more amicable alternative, particularly where children are concerned as it gives parents the skills they need to think about the best interests of the child - not just in the short term, but for the future too."

The government says it has increased spending on mediation, and also introduced rules last year which mean couples wanting to contest the terms of their separation in court will first be required to consider mediation.

It seems part of the Tory agenda within the coalition to encourage the institution of marriage. Tories would still like to introduce a married couples tax break, something they pledged at the general election. However Nick Clegg is on record as saying government should keep out of people's private lives.