The recent significant and, for the most part, silent increase in divorce fees is nothing more than a tax on the unhappy.
The cost to the state of processing a divorce is thought to be in the region of £270, yet the fee is more than twice that. If you consider that in latest figures (2013) set the number of divorces a year at 130,473, then the potential annual 'profit' to the treasury would stand at £36,532,440!
This might be small change to the government and nothing but a tiny dent in the massive budget deficit but it is huge to real people going through truly unhappy times.
I am constantly confront by people (often friends and family) looking at me like I have no soul when the topic of solicitors charges comes up. But with this change we are now at the point where lawyers are no longer the most expensive part of getting divorced, often accounting for only 40% of the costs, with George Osbourne getting the rest.
*Cost for a divorce at Watson Ramsbottom £1,060, made up of £425 fees, £85 VAT and £550 court fee - 40.009%
The government should not see divorce as a profit centre.News that divorce fees have soared by 34% took family practitioners by surprise. Although it wasn’t completely unexpected (the government had said the fees would go up), the short notice and lack of publicity around when the fees would be introduced caught many unaware.