When you were young, you often got book-tokens or record-tokens instead of gifts in your Christmas stocking – well today there is an alternative: a divorce-token or voucher.

It is the idea of London-based divorce lawyers Lloyd Platt & Company who have introduced a half or one hour Legal Advice Gift Voucher. The idea was prompted by a comment by a client’s relatives that they wished to make contribution towards their relative’s legal fees on divorce.  In order to soften the fact that their relatives were in fact making such a contribution, Vanessa Lloyd Platt, senior partner of Lloyd Platt & Company, suggested that perhaps she would provide a 'gift voucher' for this purpose. The relatives were delighted, commenting they knew many others who'd also be interested in purchasing vouchers for members of their families – and so the gift idea began…

According to the firm, the people requesting these vouchers have so far included…

• Friends who having witnessed a decline in their friend’s relationship, want them to obtain advice and see the Gift Voucher as a subtle and less embarrassing way of dealing with the subject. The vouchers have provided an opportunity for relatives to make a contribution towards legal fees without feeling that they are undermining or encouraging the situation.

• Others who have approached the firm have been both husbands and wives who have said that this is an ideal way that they can finally broach the subject that they no longer wish to be in the marriage, by purchasing such a Gift Voucher and suggesting that this would be the best way forward.

• Mistresses have been enquiring as to the amounts that they can pay and vouchers that they can buy for their lovers to finally get on with the promise of divorcing their wives.

• Parents and grandparents alike who are worried about their offspring have been buying them, declaring in some cases as they were purchasing them, that they had never liked a son-in-law/daughter-in-law in the first place.

• Employers are buying the Gift Vouchers for their employees so that they can deal with their matrimonial problems and not bring them into the office.

• Celebrities are buying them for their celebrity girlfriends instead of the usual handbag.

• Agents in the world of media, sports and otherwise are buying them for their clients as a fait accompli to take legal advice instead of having to listen to endless stories of matrimonial unhappiness. (Are these called Tiger Vouchers? …Ed)

The firm adds “Whilst at first sight the issuing of Gift Vouchers for the ending of marriages seems to be somewhat unpalatable, perhaps it is just simply a sign of the times.  Along with divorce cards, divorce parties and divorce flowers, the Divorce Gift Voucher seems a must.”

For details visit www.divorcesolicitors.com or phone: 020 8343 2998.  These will then be dispatched by post and are valid for one year from the date of issue.