Financial & Legal News

Divorcing Your Partner Just Got More Expensive

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The cost of getting a divorce in England has risen this week by 34%

It will now cost £550 to issue a divorce petition, up from £410, following a debate in the House of Lords which approved the change to legislation.

As more women than men initiate divorce there has been some concern voiced that the changes discriminate against women on the grounds that it 'will act as a disincentive to divorce and will be particularly detrimental for victims of domestic violence who are usually women'.

According to the Office for National Statistics 65% of all divorces are granted to women, their latest figures state that of the 118,140 divorce applications made 76,490 were by women and 41,601 were by men.

Those who wish to dissolve their marriage have no choice but to apply to the court for a divorce.


Whichever route to divorce you choose, you have to pay a £550 court fee to start the legal proceeding in England and Wales, then follow this three-step process, as set out by the Government:

  1. File a divorce petition - you have to apply to the court for permission to divorce, and show reasons why you want the marriage to end.
  2. Apply for a decree nisi - if your spouse agrees to the petition, you’ll get a document saying there’s no reason you can’t divorce.
  3. Apply for a decree absolute - this legally ends your marriage. You need to wait six weeks after you get the decree nisi before you can apply.

Tracy Crompton, one of Pearson’s Family team, said people had no choice than to follow the legal process and pay the fee.

Tracy has managed collaborative divorces for many couples which is a non-adversarial route, however applications still have to be made to the court.

Whether people mediate, negotiate their own outcome or go to court, they have to pay the divorce petition fee and follow the appropriate course of action.  Divorce is not a choice to litigate, it is a necessary part of the legal process bringing a relationship to an end,” she said.

For further advice on marital break-up, mediation, collaborative law and family issues contact

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

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