UK divorce costs and process – How Much Does A Divorce Cost UK?
If you are ending your marriage and you wish to divorce your spouse, you may be concerned about the possible costs. We take a look at the process and answer the question, ‘How much does a divorce cost?’
At Solicitors Near Me, we specialise in connecting people with the legal representation they need. We have a range of hand-picked family lawyers who can provide the level of help and support you need as you navigate this potentially difficult stage of life.
We make sure that the divorce solicitors we recommend will provide an outstanding level of service as well as the legal expertise to ensure that your divorce is dealt with promptly and efficiently. They will be able to offer a full service, dealing with related issues such as the sharing of property, financial settlements and arrangements for children where necessary.
The Divorce Process
The legal ending of a marriage is a relatively straightforward process, however it is important to speak to a solicitor before completing a divorce as it is usually recommended that you resolve other matters before your divorce is finalised.
By way of example, you will need to put a financial agreement in place setting out how your assets and liabilities will be shared between you. Without this, your spouse could come back to you in the future and make a claim. This is because marriage is a financial responsibility for life to your spouse and this does not end on divorce. The only way it can be ended is by an order of the court.
Once you have dealt with other issues and you are ready to divorce, either you or your spouse can apply to the court, stating that your marriage has irretrievably broken down. You also have the option to make a joint statement to this effect if you would like to apply together.
This is a fairly new process and aims to eliminate the blame that was sometimes apportioned in divorce cases in the past when allegations of unreasonable behaviour and adultery were sometimes needed to demonstrate irretrievable breakdown.
The new law means that this is no longer necessary. In addition, there is no longer any option to contest a divorce.
Once the statement has been lodged with the court, there is a twenty-week cooling off period. After this has passed, a conditional order is granted by the court. There is a further six-week wait, then a final order can be requested. Once this has been issued, the divorce is complete.
How Much Does A Divorce Cost UK?
When the application for a divorce is sent to the court, you will also need to send the court fee of £593.
Your solicitor will be able to let you know how much their fees are if they will be applying on your behalf and if they will be dealing with any other matters.
What Other Issues Need To Be Dealt With On Divorce?
Other matters that need to be dealt with include sharing property and other assets and arrangements for children.
Financial Arrangements On Divorce
Your solicitor will be able to work with you to try and negotiate a financial settlement. You will need to disclose all of your assets to each other and decide who will have what. If you own a property, one of you could retain this and the other one could receive a larger share of other assets such as investments or pension provision.
Alternatively, the property could be sold once any children living there have grown up and the proceeds shared. If you do not have children, then the property could be sold at this stage.
If you cannot reach an agreement on how your finances will be dealt with, your family law solicitor will refer you to mediation. A trained mediator will explain your options to you both and try and help you work together to find a solution.
If you are able to agree on the division of your assets, your solicitor will put this into a draft consent order and ask the court to seal it. This will make it legally binding and it is unlikely that your spouse will be able to come back to you in the future to make a financial claim.
Where you have not been able to agree on financial matters, your solicitor will prepare a case for court.
The court fee for an application for a consent order is £53.
Application for a financial order where consent has not been given is £275.
Depending on how easy it is to resolve matters, your solicitor may be able to deal with issues within a few hours. If your case requires more work, then they will discuss with you the likely level of their fees and make sure you are aware of these before they incur costs.
Arrangements For Children
You will also need to make arrangements regarding your children if you have any. This will cover issues such as who they will live with, how much time they will spend with each parent and who else they will see.
It is preferable to make these decisions with your children’s other parent wherever possible. If you cannot agree, then you are required by law to consider mediation, except in cases of domestic violence.
If you decide to try mediation, the mediator will talk through potential solutions with you and see if you can agree on the arrangements to be made. You do not have to go to mediation, but you do have to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting at which a mediator will explain the process to you and you will also have the opportunity to explain your situation to them.
Where mediation is not attempted or is not successful, you can ask the court to make arrangements. This is likely to take substantially longer and you run the risk that a decision will be imposed on you that you would not have chosen. With mediation, you will agree on the outcome.
The court fee for making an application for a child arrangements order is £232.
The Total Cost Of Divorce UK
Depending on your situation, you may need to pay for advice and representation for financial matters and arrangements for children as well as the divorce itself.
Our solicitors will all make sure you are clear about the level of costs from the outset so that you can budget accordingly. If your situation is straightforward, then a divorce need not be expensive.
If you would like to know the likely costs, simply give us a ring and let us put you in touch with the right family lawyer for your situation. You can have an initial conversation with them, discuss their fees and decide whether they are the right fit.
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