PRODUCTS3A new study has suggested that UK couples spend an average of £44,000 when they divorce or separate.

Life insurer Aviva has revealed that while legal fees have fallen over the last eight years, the hidden costs of divorce has risen by 57 per cent.

Aviva added up all of the extras associated, including post break up holidays, get fit regimes and redecorating a previously shared home.

Its statistics also suggested that four in 10 newly-separated people splash out on items to treat themselves.

As an example one in eight (13 per cent) take a holiday to celebrate their newly-single status, spending £1,925 on average, while the same number treat themselves to new technology, shelling out an average of £1,292 on gadgets and gizmos.

The life insurer’s study did not subtract expenses that couples might have incurred had they stayed together.

The cost of legal fees for divorce have actually fallen since 2006, the research found, down from £1,818 to £1,280.

Aviva suggested the drop was due to many couples opting for cheaper online services.

Louise Colley, protection director for Aviva,  told This Is Money: ‘Two thirds of couples who are married or co-habiting have some shared finances, so these arrangements can take some time to unravel if a relationship unfortunately breaks down.

“Beginning again following a separation can be a daunting time, not to mention a busy one, but it’s crucial that newly-single people review money matters when their circumstances change.

“For example, if someone becomes the sole income earner for their family unit, it’s important they think about what they might do if they were unable to work, for example through illness or injury.”

She also said that protection insurance such as life, critical illness or income protection can offer some peace of mind for this next chapter.

It was also revealed that the cost of other aspects such as moving house and child maintenance payments have soared, meaning that the total annual cost of divorce in the UK now adds up to £5.7billion.

As many as four in ten respondents said they were financially worse off following their separation, and more than half took longer than six months to settle financial affairs.

The typical time to settle was 11.5 months, but one in ten couples said it took more than two years.

Women are more likely than men to make lifestyle changes to supplement their income following a separation.

One in eight said they worked longer hours or took a second job following a break-up, while one in ten who didn’t work before the split got a job, the study found.

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