The Telegraph recently released an article stating that divorce rates are at the lowest level in 40 years. The article suggested that this decline may be partly due to the ‘cohabiting revolution’. But I wonder whether this decrease in divorce rates may also be due to the increase in government fees to get divorced.
Back in 2014, there was a decrease in divorces (3.1% to be exact) compared to a 27% decline from a recent peak in 2003. This decrease coincided with the Ministry of Justice increasing the court fee in July 2013 to get divorced to £410.
Fast forward to 2016 and court fees to get divorced are increased again by 34% to £550. The Office for National Statistics data on divorces in 2015 saw another decrease in divorces, a 9.1% decrease from 2014. Both declines seem to occur when there is an increase in government fees which poses the question – are divorce rates down because the cost to get divorced is up?
At amicable we hear couples’ frustrations on the cost to divorce and don’t believe it is fair that couples are held back from a future apart because of government fees.
There are big risks with remaining married to someone you are living apart from. You might feel totally separated but if you haven’t divorced you are still tied together financially. Their debts are your debts too, your assets are still marital assets. Without a divorce and a consent order legally separating your finances you aren’t truly separate.
If you have both decided the best thing for your family is to separate then you should aim to divorce as quickly as possible. If you ready to divorce but can’t afford to, check whether you are eligible or exempt:
If any of the following apply you are likely to be.
If the above isn’t relevant to you, read amicable’s guide on keeping the cost of divorce low, as it gives broader advice on divorcing without spending thousands of pounds. Or, if you’d like to talk to a Divorce Coach about your personal situation, book a free advice call here.