Major Family Law has reduced its fees in the run-up to an historic change in divorce law.

Our fixed fee for divorce cases is now just £150 (plus VAT and court fees), down from £250. The reduction comes as the government prepares to launch ‘no fault’ divorce across England and Wales.

From April 6, it will no longer be necessary to cite a reason when applying for divorce. The five available grounds defined by the previous legislation were unreasonable behaviour, adultery, desertion, two years’ separation with the consent of both parties, and five years’ separation without consent. But now, under the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020, applicants will only need to declare that their marriage has irretrievably broken down – and they can even do so jointly with their spouse if they wish.

The five reasons required by the previous legislation had been controversial for decades because at least three required attributing fault and effectively blaming your spouse for the breakdown of the marriage. Campaigners argued that this encouraged unnecessary rancour at an already emotional time. With a reason no longer required, the new legislation is popularly referred to as ‘no fault divorce’.

Major Family Law Managing Director Joanne Major said:

“This is the major change to divorce legislation in 50 years and one that has been long awaited by family lawyers across England and Wales. We expect divorce to become a much smoother and less emotional process for most. Estranged spouses will now be able to focus on practical matters like money and childcare rather than who was to blame for the breakdown of the marriage and we expect the numbers of couples going their separate ways to jump as a result.”

Many law firms still charge excessive amounts, she explained, for assistance with a process that is relatively straightforward and simple for most couples.

“As a specialist firm, dealing exclusively with family law, we can be nimble when it comes to how we react to the market and the changing expectations. Unlike other players in the market, we aren’t just a department within a much larger firm – instead our brand is built around our one specialist area of expertise. Our former fixed fee for divorce of £250 plus vat was low and deliberately so. This further reduction simply reflects our commitment to our clients. We want to encourage couples across Northumbria, Tyneside and Cumbria to be sensible and avail themselves of valuable legal advice.”

She added:

“This is especially important for couples have assets or areas of disagreement. A solicitor will help ensure they deal with every eventuality and reach the fair settlement to which they are entitled.”

Joanne founded Major Family Law from her kitchen table back in 2009 after gaining valuable experience at a large city centre corporate firm. In doing so, she pioneered the concept of the boutique law firm, a practice focused on a single legal niche rather than one attempting to cover all bases like more traditional lawyers. Joanne now manages a staff of 26, including 14 specialist solicitors, and Major Family Law has earned a sterling reputation for expertise and quality service across the north of England and beyond.