Family Finances Report
In their latest ‘Family Finances Report – Winter 2014’, Aviva has highlighted the impact of separation and divorce on family finances. At the same time, Aviva has linked up with specialist family law firm Paradigm Family Law in York to provide fixed fee family law advice to its workforce.
According to the Report it is those families going through divorce or separation that are most likely to be financially affected. They make up 7% of all UK families. The findings showed some positive signs. Whilst those families are in the lowest income bracket, over the last 3 years, their income has risen overall. However, they are the family type with the largest increase (32%) of mortgage debt since winter 2013.
Recent editions of Aviva’s surveys into the finances of families have highlighted that more families are taking steps to protect themselves. It cites an increased uptake in people making wills, (an additional 4% to 29% overall) and an extra 2% saving for a rainy day (34% overall). The number of families who have made no financial preparations for the future has fallen to 24% (compared to 28% in January 2013).
In the August 2014 report, Aviva discovered that UK couples are spending more than £44,000 on average when they divorce or separate, totalling £5.7 billion per year across the nation. The study revealed that the hidden cost of divorce as £21,979 per person or £43,958 per couple.
The figures show a 57% increase since Aviva last carried out the survey in 2006 when the cost of divorce was around £28,000. While the data suggests legal fees for divorce have actually fallen over the period – from £1,818 to £1,280 – with many opting for cheaper online services, additional costs such as moving house and child maintenance payments mean the overall price of separation has soared.
James Thornton, Managing Partner at Paradigm Family Law in York said:
“In recent months much has been made in the media about the lack of access to justice for those going through relationship breakdown. Legal Aid has all but been withdrawn in all but the most extreme circumstances of domestic violence. Families are still going through relationship breakdown, but now have less opportunities to find advice unless they pay high private fees for representation.
Clients want advice from solicitors with reputation and experience. They want to know what it is going to cost them to deal with the divorce and don’t want any hidden fees or surprises.
At Paradigm Family Law we offer fixed fees for divorce and financial proceedings tailored to the individual client’s circumstances. The fees are agreed and fixed from the outset.
We are very excited to be working with Aviva to offer its workforce our fixed fee solutions for divorce or relationship breakdown.”
Frank Arndt, Managing Partner, also said:
“We have seen the criticism by High Court Judges about the current cost system and High Court Judge Mostyn in particular said that we need to “do something”. While in his recent case in J v J the impact of the costs expenditure was not as calamitous as it was in KSO v MJO & Ors  EWHC 3031 (Fam) he exhorts the law-makers in this country, whether they are legislators or judges, to “stop saying something must be done and actually do something”.
Aviva and Paradigm Family Law have heeded the call and are helping to “do something” now.”
At Paradigm Family Law we put the client at the heart of what we do. Our fixed fees are available to all divorce and financial cases and are tailored to the clients particular circumstances. If you would like to talk to us or enquire about a fixed fee divorce or financial claim please telephone 0845 6020422 or email us at: [email protected] for a free initial consultation.