There is no doubt about it, getting a divorce is an expensive business. The average cost, according to Aviva’s Family Finances report, is £14,500 – which includes legal fees, child custody costs and changing homes. The report highlights how the cost of divorce has spiralled a further 17% since 2014 when divorces in the UK cost, on average, £12,432.
It doesn’t stop there. There are also relocation costs. Those wanting to buy a new property have to spend an extra £144,600, or £35,000 in order to rent somewhere.
Most people going through a divorce don’t have money to burn – unless of course you are Ant McPartlin of Ant and Dec fame, who is reportedly offering his former wife Lisa Armstrong a £31 million divorce settlement; half of his £62 million fortune.
So why are divorces so expensive? Legal fees are the answer. They have increased by 109% from £1,280 to £2,679 in the last three years, and additional legal fees, as part of a child custody battle, have increased by 62% from £3,500 to £5,671.
Overall, the figures send the total cost of the UK’s divorce bill to £1.7 billion annually, fuelled by a 6% rise in the number of break-ups year-on-year.
So is there such a thing as a cheap divorce? Yes. National family law provider Co-op Legal Services has launched a fully comprehensive digital divorce service, enabling people to start their divorce online, supported by phone-based advice provided by experienced solicitors.
The new service means that couples who have made the decision to end their marriage can start their divorce from home at a time that suits them. The service could potentially cut the amount of time it takes to complete a non-contested divorce by a third, from a potential 6 – 9 months to 4 – 6 months.