Londoners forced to fork out double the UK average in divorce costs

Lisa Fernandez
A suitcase sits outside a London residence
Higher living costs and legal fees make divorces a pricey sum for Londoners (Source: Getty)

The cost of divorce for Londoners is nearly double the average of elsewhere in the UK, thanks in part to the capital’s more expensive living costs, according to research published by law firm Seddons.

Average divorce settlement costs from across the UK total £70,243 versus over £134,525 for couples living in London, according to Seddons’ survey results of 2,500 UK adults.

The research found that costs for London-based couples are not due to higher value shared assets, such as house prices and pensions, but are instead attributed to higher costs of living and accommodation, legal fees and interest on debts.

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The survey also found that city based couples have to wait nearly a year to finalise their divorce and financial arrangements, with 73 per cent of Londoners experiencing delays. This is despite the research finding that 77 per cent of time-pressed couples are keen to reach a quick settlement.

Delays are largely a result of the overloaded family courts and have become more problematic with the removal of legal aid for family cases, the London-based law firm said. The latest court statistics show that many are now representing themselves during proceedings, which can slow the process significantly.

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Over half of Londoners said that their divorce process took longer than they anticipated and the desire to settle matters swiftly was strongest among younger divorcees aged 18 to 34. A key concern voiced by 73 per cent of those surveyed was the impact of delays on their personal finances.

Meanwhile, the survey found those who live in London are more likely to welcome others making decisions for them during the divorce settlement process at 43 per cent, indicating a stronger demand for a fixed fee arbitration process in the metropolis than elsewhere in the UK.

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