Oddly Enough

Happy Christmas honey - here's a divorce voucher

Shoppers are reflected in the decoration of a Christmas tree as they walk inside Berlin's famous KaDeWe (Kaufhaus des Westens, which means department store of the West) December 23, 2007. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

LONDON (Reuters) - Stuck for Christmas gift ideas? Is your marriage or a friend’s going through a rocky patch? How about a divorce voucher?

In an unusual take on the season of giving, a London law firm is offering Christmas gift vouchers for divorce advice.

The firm, Lloyd Platt & Company, which normally charges 325 pounds an hour, said it had been swamped with enquiries since it launched the vouchers early last week.

So far, more than 60 have been sold -- a snip at 125 pounds for a half hour session with a divorce lawyer.

The firm’s founder, Vanessa Lloyd Platt, said she had been amazed at the response to the vouchers. “They seem to appeal to an enormously widespread spectrum of people looking for that ‘must have’ gift for Christmas,” she said.

A spokesman for the Church of England called the vouchers sad.

“Divorce is a very personal matter and not really suitable for the idea of gift vouchers which are presents from other people,” he said.

Demand for the vouchers could soar over the next few weeks.

Christmas tends to be a particularly stressful time for families, with a huge rise in people seeking advice each January, Lloyd Platt said.

Reporting by Elizabeth Fullerton; Editing by Steve Addison