Whilst the emotional turmoil is hard to deal with, sadly, divorces cost money as well. There are some fees that are fixed and unavoidable whereas others depend upon how much legal advice you obtain. Whether your divorce is contested or uncontested will also have an impact on how much your divorce will cost.
Court proceeding fees
You cannot escape court fees when divorcing as all cases will be passed by a judge. Whether your divorce is contested or uncontested, the divorce court fees will remain as follows:
|Filing for divorce||£550|
|Consent order application||£100|
|Financial order application||£255|
Depending on where you live in the UK you might have to pay other obligatory fees on top of these. Furthermore, if the divorce is contested you can expect to pay much more in terms of court fees as it is unlikely to be resolved quickly if the marriage has broken down to this point.
Court fee support
If you are on low income or receive benefits you may be able to get help with paying for your court fees.
Some solicitors may also demand that the opposing party settles some legal fees on behalf of their client. This is particularly common in situations where one party doesn’t agree with the divorce and feels they are being backed into a corner.
When it comes to the legal aspects of divorce you are going to need a solicitor. How expensive their services will depend on whether your divorce is contested or uncontested. With contested divorces, a solicitor will likely have to do much more work for you compared to an uncontested divorce, where proceedings are typically more straightforward.
You will often find that your solicitor will discuss fees with you before proceeding and you will come to an agreement that suits you both.
|Type of service||Cost|
|Solicitor (some charge hourly, some fixed fee rate)||Costs can vary from £2,000 and go as high as £30,000 – maybe more, depending on negotiations and whether there is a final court hearing|
|Online divorce services||Vary between £40 and £400 dependant on whether you need a solicitor. Court fees, paperwork and financial settlements are sometimes chargeable extras|
|Collaborative family lawyer||Can vary between roughly £6,000 and £20,000|
|Mediator||Not every couple needs the help of a mediator but they charge from £100 per hour|
Paying your solicitor’s fees
You will not receive any help with solicitor or legal costs regardless of your financial situation. You could receive aid if you are a victim of domestic abuse or if your children have been harmed in some way.
Understandably, in ideal circumstances, you would have enough money to pay your solicitor’s fees. However, they can often be incredibly expensive, and this may be unachievable. If you can’t pay the fees upfront there are other options available. Rarely will a solicitor set up a payment plan.
In the UK there is a type of funding called a Sears Tooth agreement. Some solicitors offer this agreement as a financial solution. You will not have to pay any legal fees until the divorce is granted and a financial settlement agreed.
In some situations, it might be part of any financial agreement to sell the family home. Your solicitor may let you pay your legal bill when you receive your share from the sale of the property. You would have to sign an irrevocable mandate to legally bind you to paying using the house sale money.
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