Divorce costs

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I was very concerned to learn this week that the cost of issuing divorce proceedings will jump by a third after the Government increased the court fee by £140 to £550.

Sadly more than one in three marriages in this country end in divorce, so this change will have a wide-ranging effect. In isolation an increase of £140 in itself may not seem that problematic.

However, this must be considered against the background of legal aid, having already been withdrawn for divorce and the financial issues that arise when a couple formally end their marriage.

While the Government says it will protect the “most vulnerable” such as women in low-income households, the legal aid cuts have already affected the “most vulnerable” significantly.

Many of those divorcing who are not considered the “most vulnerable” are struggling financially, often having to fund two households out of the same income that once funded one. Increasing the court fee for issuing a divorce petition will only add to their financial problems.

Fiona Wood

Slater and Gordon family lawyer