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Court fee for divorce increased. What are the alternatives.

Court fee for divorce increased. What are the alternatives. The 2016 budget was quietly followed by a sharp increase in the issue fee for a divorce from £415 to £550 as of 21.3.16. Northwich solicitors Stonehewer Moss can help you consider alternatives to the divorce process, some of which may cause you to question whether to proceed with the expense of the court fee. For some time the courts have been directed by their political “masters” to make the service self supporting and it does not take the intellect of a Chancellor of the Exchequer to realise that the law of diminishing returns will necessitate ever increasing court fees. Demographics and government statistics suggest divorce rates are declining while co-habitation increases; can the law applying to the latter group assist those separated when married?

Michael Brennan, an accredited specialist in family law including complex financial issues in divorce, believes the cost of the divorce fee might be better spent elsewhere. “I am not advocating taking a holiday instead, though it is a stressful time and may be a good idea for many people. When you are considering divorce timing is essential. Solicitors are trained that a separation feels like a bereavement and you will experience the well known stages of grief. In that early angry stage you may feel a burning need to divorce but perhaps a period of calm may be better. Divorce legally allows you to re-marry but the other consequences about money can be agreed and a professionally drawn deed of separation can include terms about future divorce, by which time the grieving process may make everything more natural. The deed of separation could  be seen as the line in the sand many feel the need to acknowledge through divorce itself. The cost advantage is that the court fee is not spent. Time also gives you the chance to reflect long and hard before entering a second or subsequent marriage, which might be wisest undertaken with a prenup or instead by a living together agreement.”

Michael is a member of Cheshire Collaborative Family Law Group and can discuss this civilised approach to parting at a no obligation assessment of your family situation and analysis of how the law can help.

To discuss prenups, living together agreements or deeds of separation telephone 01606872200 e mail or visit


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