Online divorce firm divorce-online.co.uk, the single biggest filer of divorce petitions in England and Wales, is predicting a big spike in divorce filings in January as couples rush to beat the Government’s proposed hike in court fees to file a divorce.
|Divorce is stressful enough, without the added financial worry|
The fees will rise in April from £410 to £550 a massive 34% increase, despite the actual cost of processing a divorce having been calculated at £260.
A draft statutory instrument has been laid before parliament and unless the Government do a U turn in the next 3 months, the fees will be introduced at the start of the new financial year.
As one of the largest firms sending divorce petitions to the divorce centres, Divorce-Online are already warning potential divorcees of the coming rise.
Mark Keenan a spokesman for the company believes that the rise will prevent couples on modest means from formalising their split and many couples will be left in a legal limbo for years, separated but not able to finalise their divorce because of the sheer cost.
Since the withdrawal of legal aid in 2012 for divorce cases, the number of people looking for cheaper alternatives to traditional solicitor led divorce routes have rocketed using services provided by companies like Divorce Online.
As the cost of divorce in the UK rises, it is likely that even more couples will turn to the Internet to seek a more cost-effective alternative to the traditional high street legal practice.
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