“How much will my divorce cost?”
Questions relating to divorce cost are something we hear every day at Carr & Co Solicitors from prospective clients. There are horror stories about spiralling fees so it’s important that you can make an informed decision and move on with your life. Below we will lay out the likely fees and explain what the divorce process may involve.
The court will charge a fee of £550 to deal with their side of the divorce process and issue a Decree Absolute (the document that confirms that the parties are divorced). This is usually paid by the Petitioner (the person who is filing the Divorce Petition) although it is sometimes shared equally between both parties. This fee will need to be paid whether or not a solicitor is employed.
This fee covers the Divorce Petition being checked by the court and posted to the spouse or their solicitor, management of the acknowledgement of service process and pronouncement of the Decree Nisi and Decree Absolute.
If the petitioner has a low income or is receiving benefits they may be eligible for a fee remission (the court fee is reduced or removed altogether). For more information on court fee remission click here.
Going through a divorce can be a difficult period and the process is not always straightforward. An experienced and knowledgeable solicitor can shine a light on the process, fight your corner and make the experience as hassle free as possible.
A solicitor will prepare the divorce papers as well as dealing with the court and your spouse’s solicitors on your behalf. As each divorce has a different set of circumstances to be dealt with the divorce cost will depend on how much work the solicitor needs to do on their client’s behalf.
Sorting out marital issues with a solicitor or mediator is always preferable to letting the courts decide as costs can often run out of control this way.
Although the scope of Legal Aid has been significantly cut over the past three years you may still be able to get help to pay the divorce cost if you have experienced domestic violence during the relationship. You may also be able to get financial assistance with mediation. To see if you would qualify for legal aid click here.
Finance & Children
After the divorce has been finalised with the Decree Absolute there are still usually marital assets that need to be divided. This can include the marital home, possessions, bank accounts and pensions.
A Consent Order will make any financial agreements between yourself and your spouse legally binding. The court will charge £50 to lodge the Consent Order. If there are no marital assets to be divided then a Clean Break Order would be appropriate. This would prevent your ex-spouse from making any financial claim in the future if you were to say win the lottery. The court fee for this is also £50.
I you are unable to agree matters with your ex then your solicitor will need to draw up a Financial Application to be submitted to the court. The court will charge a fee of £255. This can extend the separation process and increase the divorce cost considerably. For this reason it is much better if the parties can agree financial matters between themselves without going to court. For more information on dividing marital assets click here.
If you have children under the age of 18 you will need to decide what their living arrangements will be and also make contact arrangements. If these matters can’t be agreed between the parties then a Children’s Act Application will be drawn up. The court will charge a fee of £215 to deal with these matters. This can be a difficult process so ideally both parties should settle this out of court with a qualified solicitor or mediator.
A qualified and experienced solicitor can make the divorce process straightforward and stop the divorce cost spiralling out of control. For more information on divorce visit www.carrandcosolicitors.com/services/family-law/divorce/ or please call one of our divorce experts on 0191 284 0363.