Monday, September 23rd, 2019
The truth: Asking how much a divorce costs is like asking how long is a piece of string.
The facts: A divorce itself is the relatively simple process of ending a marriage.
Most solicitors will offer a fixed fee price for this but on the basis it is undefended and uncomplicated. The divorce cost quoted by solicitors vary but so will the level of service you receive. It is very important you realise all the implications of divorce, the claims you may have, the protection you may need before embarking on the process and the implications of the final decree (before this is applied for).
In addition to your solicitor’s costs there is also a court fee of £550 and this is payable if you use solicitors or do it yourself.
HOWEVER, if there are difficult elements to a divorce such as a missing marriage certificate, a foreign marriage with a missing certificate or a translation needed, a missing spouse, a spouse who will not engage or a spouse who even defends the divorce, then the divorce cost will rise and usually be charged at the solicitor’s hourly rate – and those hours rates will vary a lot depending on the experience of the solicitor dealing with your divorce and to some extent where the firm is based.
ALSO, the divorce is usually the simple part. There are often other elements that flow from a marriage breakdown that also need legal input which are of course:
1. Arrangements for any children and
2. Financial Division
If you don’t have children and if you have already sorted out your financial division then this makes it easy (and the divorce cost cheap). However, divorcing couples must be aware that simply by dividing your finances and getting a divorce does not prevent one party from mounting a financial claim against the other – even many years after the divorce. To fully draw a line and prevent this happening you should also file with the court an agreed order dismissing all future claims of any kind (known as a Clean Break Consent Order). Before doing so it is as well to understand if you do have any claims or whether it is appropriate for you to dismiss them. Indeed, a solicitor should not just file a Clean Break Consent Order without checking whether this is fair and a Judge who approves it also has a duty to consider whether it is fair and reasonable.
If you cannot agree arrangements for your children or how to resolve the financial claims, then you need to take advice. The cost will then depend on how easily your solicitor can resolve it. You may well want to consider Mediation, but you will still need some guidance from a family law solicitor to whether Mediation is suitable. Also, a mediator does not advise either party but simply facilitates discussion and assists couples reach agreement. You should take advice from a solicitor throughout the process and then ask your solicitor to ensure that any financial agreement is fully recorded in a consent order so that the agreement is converted into a binding and enforceable court order.
If you cannot agree matters relating to the children or finances, then either party would have to consider an application to the court to determine it. This is where it can get very expensive.
At Hanne & so we will explore all options with you and endeavour to resolve all issues as quickly and efficiently as possible, incurring the minimum of legal costs.
We offer a fixed price divorce – of course on the basis it is undefended and uncomplicated. We can also give you full advice on all the ramifications of your relationship breakdown and assist you through what is undoubtedly a complex and emotionally challenging time.
If you want an initial chat, please call one of our Family & Divorce Law Team on 020 7228 0017