How Much Does It Cost to Get Divorced?

If you’re getting a divorce, then you probably want to know exactly how much it’s going to cost you.

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By Claudia Price - 19th August 2021

Our divorce solicitors offer a fixed fee service of £850 plus VAT for an uncontested divorce. There is an additional court fee to pay.

How much does a divorce cost?

If you’re getting a divorce, then you probably want to know exactly how much it’s going to cost you. Unfortunately, it’s hard to give an exact answer, as it depends on the situation. However, there are some definite costs that you can take into account.

Firstly, there is a court fee to pay when you file for divorce. This is currently £550, although you may not have to pay all (or any) of this fee. Usually, the person applying for the divorce pays for this, but not always.

If you instruct a divorce solicitor, then you will also have to pay their legal fees. Here at Aticus Law, we charge a fixed fee of £850 plus VAT for an uncontested divorce. It is uncontested if you both agree to the divorce.

As part of our fixed fee service, we will:

  • Provide expert legal advice;
  • Draft the paperwork;
  • Correspond with the court and your ex-spouse.

When you add the court fee and our fixed fee together, the total cost of a divorce is £1,570. However, this just covers the process of ending your marriage. If there are other ‘ancillary’ matters that need sorting, then you will have to pay extra legal fees. This might happen if you and your ex-spouse cannot agree on child care arrangements or the division of assets.

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Do I have to pay the court fee for divorce?

Not everybody has to pay the court fee when getting a divorce. If you are on a low income or get certain welfare benefits, then you may be exempt from paying it. Or, you might be eligible to pay a reduced price. You can apply for help with court fees on the gov.uk website.

Who pays the court fee?

The general rule is that each person will pay their own legal costs. The person applying for the divorce (the petitioner) also pays for the court fee.

However, if you are the petitioner, you can make an application for costs from the other person (respondent). This normally happens in cases where you blame your ex for the divorce. For example, when you divorce on the basis of adultery or unreasonable behaviour.

What if the divorce is contested?

The fees may increase if the divorce is contested, meaning one person opposes the divorce. This is quite unusual, with nine out of 10 divorce cases being undefended. The cost may also be higher if other difficulties arise, such as jurisdictional issues.

What if we disagree on child care or our finances?

You may also have other issues to sort out following your separation, such as child arrangements and/or severing financial ties. If you cannot agree on these ancillary matters, then your fees will increase. You will have to attend mediation first. If this is not appropriate or is not successful, then you’ll need to instruct a solicitor to help you.

In these situations, it isn’t easy for a solicitor to provide an estimate of costs at the outset. Often, we have to update our clients on costs during the case. It depends on the assets to divide, the client’s willingness to negotiate and the complexity of matters. It may be necessary to pay for a financial advisor, forensic business accounting and valuations. There may also be additional court fees and other expenses to pay.

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What if we negotiate a settlement?

The majority of cases are resolved by negotiation, usually via solicitors, once the financial disclosure has taken place, with each party bearing their own costs. Whilst it is possible to apply for a costs order in certain circumstances, the outcome of such an application cannot be guaranteed and the usual course is that each party covers their own legal costs.

If a settlement is reached, this should be recorded in a consent order. There is a court fee of £50 which has to be paid. This is often split between the parties.

Are you thinking about getting a divorce?

Even the strongest of marriages have been severely tested by the overall stresses of the pandemic. Now there has been a slight lifting of lockdown restrictions, we have seen a spike in divorces. More and more people are making the decision to end their marriage as they slowly transition back to working at the office and socialising with friends once again.

We understand that you might be worried about the cost of divorce, especially if your earning capacity has been affected by Covid-19. Some celebrity divorces involve extraordinary costs, with Kelly Clarkson and Jonny Depp being amongst those. However, costs don’t always need to be unmanageable.

Here at Aticus Law, we are transparent, fair and consider your costs throughout. We offer a fixed fee divorce service for uncontested divorces, so you know exactly how much you’ll have to pay. If there are other issues to resolve, we will advise you what our costs will be.

For more information about how we can help you, contact us for a free initial enquiry.

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