The cost of divorce in the UK has soared by 17 per cent in the past three years, with divorcing and separating couples now typically spending £14,561 on legal and lifestyle costs, a new report by Aviva reveals.
On top of this, couples who move house as a result of the separation spend tens of thousands of pounds on moving house. Those who rent – which applies to more than half of divorcees – spend around £35,000, while those who go onto buy a new property (16%) spend £144,600 on average.
The report reveals soaring legal fees and the cost of redecorating homes, as well as moving house, are central to this rise.
Legal fees have more than doubled since 2014, up by 109% from £1,280 to £2,679, with any additional costs in child custody battles having also increased by 62%, from £3,500 to £5,671.
The cost of redecorating a previously shared home has also risen by around 73%.
Concern about the cost of divorce
Due to these soaring costs, for a significant proportion of separated couples – 16% – affordability remains such a concern that they remain living together in the same house because they can’t afford to move.
Aviva’s findings indicate the majority (68 per cent) of couples who divorce or separate have financial issues to resolve, with the process taking on average 14 and a half months – three months longer than in 2014.
The report comes as new data revealed the number of divorces in England and Wales increased by 6% between 2015 and 2016 to 106,959 – in what marked the first rise since 2009.
In light of the findings, Paul Brencher, Aviva’s health and protection director, said: “The breakdown of a marriage or long-term relationship is likely to be one of the most emotionally demanding life events for people who experience it. While it may seem completely unnecessary to plan for such an unfortunate life event, it is important that both partners in a relationship take an active interest in their financial affairs, even if one tends to take the lead.”
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