Divorce isn't as taboo a subject as it once was.

The stigma of divorce has settled, mainly because it is more commonplace. Traditionally, couples tended to stick together, even when the going got tough, but attitudes towards marriage have changed.

Many couples make the decision to split up, partly for the sake of their children as it isn't seen as healthy for them when their parents are arguing all the time, and also to allow them to be happy again.

What has become apparent though is that couples are more likely to have an amicable split rather than an acrimonious one, making it a more positive process for them and, more importantly, their children.

New research commissioned by lawyers Slater and Gordon shows that less than one in five divorces are acrimonious.

One in five divorcees say they didn't believe there had to be bitter dispute to end the marriage and it was perfectly acceptable to get a divorce because it just didn't feel right anymore.

Most common reasons for divorce now are growing apart and falling out of love. Furthermore, nearly two-thirds say they wanted to remain friends with their ex after they split.

Instead of battling out in the courts, the research revealed that 64 per cent of separated couples said they wanted to have a good relationship with their ex after their divorce and just 28 per cent say they aren't interested in staying civil with their ex.

Most respondents said they would be happy to spend time with their ex and more than a third said they would even feel comfortable going on a family holiday with their ex.

Slater and Gordon were prompted to commission the research after seeing an increase in 'friendly' divorces in the last year.

Nearly two-thirds of divorced Brits say they wanted to remain friends with their ex-partner after splitting up, while less than one in five divorces are acrimonious - according to the research.

The most common reason for recently separated couples to stay friends was for the sake of their children and to make the divorce process easier in the long run.

Liz Williams, a partner and head of family law at Eatons solicitors in Bradford, explains there is much more of a trend now, partly encouraged by the Government, for couples to resolve issues away from the courts.

She says couples are now being encouraged to use mediation along with collaborative representation. "I am trained as a collaborative family lawyer and we work with clients to resolve issues arising from the marriage."

Working collaboratively, Liz explains, avoids any acrimony and it also allows them to work together to achieve the best outcomes.

Collaborative lawyers work with couples and reach the resolutions together alleviating the pain and distress of the divorce process.

She says the Government are also looking at making the process of getting divorced a more administrative than a legal process.

"They are looking at making it more of an administrative process, more of a paper exercise that I think will take the stigma away even more."

She says dealing with divorce this way is also more beneficial to the children involved. "If people have got children and they can remain friends it is far better for the children," says Liz.

Stephanie Smith, services manager for West Yorkshire Family Mediation Service based in Bradford, believes part of the reason why there are more 'friendly' divorces is due to the Government changes. "Part of it is due, I assume, to the changes the Government has made to try and get people out of court.

"Over the last couple of years if anyone has approached the court to sort out their divorce or separation they have to go to mediation first and I think that has given people the opportunity to try it."

She says mediation can benefit the whole family, including children who are also encouraged to be involved in mediation through their parents, giving them the opportunity to speak to the mediator on their own.

Among the top 10 reasons why Brits stay friends with their ex: for the sake of the children; to make things easier in the long run; because of a shared history; to retain shared friends; to remain close to the ex-partner's family and because they value the friendship.