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The removal of legal aid for divorce cases which came into effect on April 1 2013 is predicted to have a disproportionate impact on the poorest members of society, as they are hit almost three times harder than those in the wealthiest parts of the UK.

In figures released by the Legal Ombudsman, the current average cost of a divorce in the UK is £1,300, which represents 9 per cent of the average annual salary in the poorest areas of the UK. This is in stark contrast to figures from the UK’s most affluent areas, where a typical divorce represents just 3.3 per cent of the average household income.

Currently nine of the UK’s parliamentary constituencies with the lowest average salary are situated in the North of England or Wales, which is why, here at Howells Solicitors we are intent on providing every individual with an affordable alternative to the conventional divorce. We appreciate that with the recent demise of legal aid our clients may find it difficult to afford to pay their solicitors fees for a divorce and may need a degree of flexibility in order to spread any legal costs they might incur over a period of time.

We also appreciate that our clients prefer the certainty of knowing how much their divorce will cost in advance. That’s why we have created some reasonably priced but realistic packages to suit our client’s needs on an undefended divorce. These include fixed price and instalment plan packages for our bespoke, professional and friendly one-to-one service with one of our experienced matrimonial solicitors.

We also offer super saver online divorce packages to suit those clients who are content with dealing with their divorce via one of our expert matrimonial solicitors online.

Prior to April 1 2013, people on low incomes were eligible for legal aid to cover every aspect of family dispute, which not only included divorce, but also disputes over children, care proceedings, domestic abuse and financial matters. Under the new rules, legal aid is only available if you fall into one of four categories:

•    Domestic abuse cases

In cases where one party has been hurt, abused or threatened, legal aid may still be available. Evidence of the abuse must be provided, which can take the form of a conviction, caution, injunction, a finding of fact by the court or a letter confirming violence from a local authority, health care professional or domestic violence refuge.

•    Child abduction cases

Legal aid may still be available if there is a history or risk of child abduction outside the UK or a child has been unlawfully removed within the UK.

•    Local authority child protection matters

If a local authority has concerns about the safety of a child then parents, children and other interested adults will be able to access legal aid.

•    Forced marriage

Anyone who has been threatened with a force marriage can apply for a Forced Marriage Protection Order and will receive legal aid.
The only other circumstance under which legal aid will be available to the recipient of a divorce application (aside from child protection and child abduction cases) is if they are a victim of domestic abuse.

This means that, of the 250,000 cases of divorce and family breakdown which were recorded last year, under the new legislation, only 40,000 would have been eligible for legal aid.

Please contact Richard Scott on 02920 404014 or e-mail with your enquiry.

With effect from 15th February 2015 EU Regulations on Consumer Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) allow consumers who bought our services online to submit their complaint via an online complaint portal.

We are required under the regulations to provide our clients the following information:-
  1. Link to the ODR platform - please follow the following link for further information (
  2. Our contact email address in case of a complaint under the ODR regulation – Andrea Coombes