British law firm offers gift divorce vouchers this Christmas

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The Independent Online

Not exactly festive, but proving popular, a British law firm is offering an unusual present for unhappy married couples this Christmas -- divorce gift vouchers, a report said Thursday.

(AFP) -

Not exactly festive, but proving popular, a British law firm is offering an unusual present for unhappy married couples this Christmas - divorce gift vouchers, a report said Thursday.

Lloyd Platt & Company in London said it has received hundreds of enquiries since putting the vouchers on sale last month.

Offering couples half-hour or hour-long advice session with a lawyer, the firm has sold 54 vouchers in three weeks, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The firm is calling the vouchers this year's "must have" present, and cost 125 pounds plus tax (140 euros, 202 dollars).

"Christmas can be a very stressful time for families as we have always seen by the huge increase of people seeking advice in January," senior partner Vanessa Lloyd Platt told the newspaper.

"The vouchers seem to appeal to an enormously wide spread spectrum of people looking for that 'must have' gift for Christmas," she said.

She said buyers include husbands, wives, mistresses and people using them as a suggestion to their friends and family members.

However the vouchers have been criticised for encouraging people to seek a divorce rather than resolve their problems through counselling or other means.

"It's typical ambulance chasing by lawyers who are doing this for business reasons," said Dave Percival, who organises an annual National Marriage Week, which celebrates the institution of marriage.

Lloyd Platt said the vouchers offer people "all the practical options available to them - divorce being only one of the options."

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