While most of us go back to work, start diets and make resolutions we can’t keep, many couples will also be calling time on their marriages in January.
The first Monday back at work after the holiday period has been named “Divorce Day” - the day of the year where people make the most enquires about divorce.
Andie Brown, Head of Family Law at BSG Solicitors in Lancaster said: “Enquiries during January can be double the amount we would usually expect, though not all of these will be new clients. Often people I have seen earlier in year have waited, for one reason or another, until the New Year before they decide to proceed.
“Some clients have made appointments in advance, but for many Christmas is seen as a ‘make or break’ time, which sadly doesn’t always live up to their expectations and they have more time to analyse their current lifestyle.”
Financial strain and money worries are frequently factors in the breakdown of a marriage and Government changes over the last few years have increased the cost of divorce, whilst reducing access to legal aid for most divorcing couples.
The divorce petition fee increased from £410 to £550 in March 2016, when the Ministry of Justice estimated the average cost to the courts in dealing with an uncontested application for a divorce was just £270, with the increase fee representing over 200 per cent of the actual cost.
In November the Government rejected the recommendation of the House of Commons Justice Committee that the increase in the divorce petition fee should be retracted.
“As a firm we have adapted to help our clients and recently launched a full range of fixed fee family law services, including divorce matters. This gives clients some certainty over costs and the ability to budget more accurately. For January only we are reducing these divorce fees by 50% in a bid to provide the access to justice that legal aid offered for so many.
“Whilst there are no signs that the divorce petition fee will be reduced, assistance is still available for those who qualify under the fee remissions scheme, known as Help with Fees” continued Andie.
To speak to a specialist Divorce Solicitor in Lancaster or Preston call 01524 386500 or click here.