According to Capitol Family Mediation Southall, the average cost of divorce in the UK is £14,561. It is not surprising that many people stay in an unpleasant relationship to avoid the financial and emotional burdens of divorce. But if handled properly, your divorce can and will be far less expensive. In some instances, divorce in the United Kingdom is free.
Here is everything you need to know about the procedure and expense of divorce in the United Kingdom.
UK COST OF DIVORCE
Unless you are eligible for specific assistance or have a low income, divorce court expenses are typically $592. This is the fee you must pay the court to get your divorce petition processed. If you are receiving specific assistance or have a low income, you can request for a fee waiver. This may be completed here online.
If you are requesting a divorce on the basis of unreasonable behaviour or adultery, the court will often order the respondent to pay the filing cost. Typically, though, you must pay the price first. You can, of course, negotiate amongst yourselves on how the court charge will be paid, and many Capitol Family Mediation Southall customers do so equally. When the no-fault divorce statute goes into effect in April 2022, you will not be required to assign blame; thus, you may opt to split the costs or the petitioner can pay them.
Notably, the court charge does not include your legal fees if you are hiring a lawyer, and it is quite rare that the grounds for divorce would require you to pay the other party’s legal fees. The court cost does not cover fees for settling child custody or financial disputes.
WHAT OTHER COSTS MAY I BE REQUIRED TO PAY?
We’ve previously established that, in the majority of circumstances, you’ll need to spend $592 for your divorce (up from $550 in October 2021). However, many people will incur additional expenses:
ORDER OF FINANCIAL CONSENT
If you are obtaining a consent order to bind your financial arrangement, you will be required to pay court costs of £53.
Nonetheless, you should always have a lawyer create your consent order. The expenses of drafting might range from £400 for an internet provider to £4,000 with VAT for a lawyer-drafted order.
As with any purchase, it is essential to shop about, compare estimates and services, and determine what is included in each quote. Is there a fee, for instance, if the court raises inquiries about your consent order? What happens if a Pension Sharing Order must be added?
Our website provides a parenting plan for free download. Working together to implement this approach will incur no additional expense. If you believe it is in the best interests of the children to make your parenting plan legally enforceable through a child arrangements order, you must pay £232 in court costs.
When divorcing, if you and your spouse cannot agree on the financial deal and/or the child custody arrangements, you can use family mediation to reach a resolution. According to the Family Mediation Council, the average cost per person per hour of mediation in the United Kingdom is £140. Costs might vary, and there is typically a fee for the papers required to document your agreement at the conclusion of the mediation process.
Capitol Family Mediation Southall will charge £120 per person per hour beginning in 2022. We are the only mediation service that offer fixed-fee legal and mediation packages, allowing you to plan and budget for a legally enforceable agreement.
The typical duration of mediation is 2-3 sessions for child-related issues and 2-3 sessions for financial matters. You will need to meet with the mediator separately during an MIAM meeting.
You may hire a lawyer to handle your divorce papers, or you can do it yourself online for free (other than the court fee). If you use a lawyer to handle the paperwork, they may charge a flat fee. It is crucial to confirm what is covered in this flat charge, as it is doubtful that financial or parental arrangements are included. The processing of divorce documents and when the divorce is unlikely to be disputed by the other party.
A customer of Capitol Family Mediation Southall said that they had just spent £12,000 on attorney expenses attempting to convince the opposing side to sign the divorce forms. There were no conversations regarding child custody or a financial settlement. It is quite simple to waste tens of thousands of pounds on a divorce.
A divorce attorney will charge between £200 and £500 per hour, plus VAT, for all other aspects of your divorce that are not included in a set fee. They often charge at 6-minute intervals, which includes reading and responding to emails, phone calls, and letter writing. You should thus only keep your attorney informed of the major developments in your divorce or separation, legal advice, and legal documentation (such as the creation of a consent order on agreement).
If you are heading to court for a hearing over your child arrangements or finances, you may require a lawyer. A barrister is able to choose their own rates and may negotiate a flat charge with you. Depending on their level of skill, your attorney may charge between £1,000 and £5,000 a day. However, expenses might vary significantly.
CLAIM IN COURT
If you must petition the court for a child arrangement order or a financial order, you must pay court fees. In most circumstances, you will also be required to have undertaken an MIAM, unless specific exemptions exist. Current court expenses are:
- £275 Request for a financial order
- Child Arrangements Order Application Fee: £232
WHAT IF WE CAN’T REACH AN AGREEMENT ON THE FINANCIAL AND PARENTING ARRANGEMENTS?
If you are unable to reach an agreement among yourselves or via family mediation, you may need to petition the court for an injunction. Before you do so, check our eleven methods for settling a divorce or separation, since you may want to pursue a barrister review or arbitration.
If you are represented in court by a lawyer or barrister during a final order hearing, you will often be billed £20,000 + VAT for a financial order. For kid arrangements, the framework is less rigid, but you should provide between $5,000 and $15,000 in funds.
You may have seen in the media that divorce expenses might reach hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Remember that the child arrangements and financial arrangements are distinct areas of the law that will not be heard concurrently.
There may be a fee associated with appraising assets as part of your financial disclosure. Again, costs can vary, but the following is a list of goods you may need to have appraised along with their average cost range:
- Pension (without being paid): £0 – One complimentary Cash Equivalent Value every year. If you need a revised appraisal within the same year, there may be a cost.
- Pension (in payment); between £400 and £1000 + VAT for a Cash Equivalent Balance (CEB)
- If you want to balance your pension value against current assets, equalise pension payments in retirement, or have a last salary pension, you may require an actuary or a pension on divorce expert (PODE) to assess your pensions. Costs might fluctuate, but are typically between £2,000 and £6,000 including VAT. This will depend on the number and complexity of your respective pensions.
- If you cannot agree on the valuation of the firm, you may be required to hire a single joint expert. This will be an impartial appraisal that the court will accept as the business’s value. Expect to spend around £4,000 plus VAT.
- Licensed Surveyor. If you cannot agree on the value of a piece of property, you might get a surveyor’s opinion. This can be useful for odd properties, commercial properties, and buildings in need of extensive repairs. Expect to pay more than £600 + VAT for a court-admissible value report.
PENSION SHARING COSTS
If you are transferring a pension fund to your spouse as part of a divorce, both the old and new pension companies may assess a fee. As part of your financial arrangement, you should determine who will pay for these expenses.
A divorce is a time to examine your finances, which may undergo significant changes. Obtaining sound financial counsel is crucial at this time. After an initial free consultation, most financial consultants will charge for their services. You will be informed of these fees in advance.
TRANSFER AGENT FEES
If you are selling, purchasing, or modifying the deeds on a property, it is probable that you will need to pay a lawyer or conveyancer to assist you. Typically, your divorce attorney will not handle this aspect of the arrangement. Expect to spend between £300 to £1500 + VAT for closing costs.
COSTS OF MOVING AND SELLING
If you are selling or moving residences during your divorce, you may incur costs related with the use of an estate agent, removal firm, and perhaps storage fees.
There will be no automatic transfer of your estate to your spouse upon divorce. It is suggested that you revise or create a new will once your divorce has been finalised to ensure that your desires are carried out upon your death. Wills can cost between £80 and £300 plus VAT, depending on their complexity and execution method.
HOW CONTESTED AND UNCONTESTED DIVORCES DIFFER
The vast majority of divorces are amicable. This indicates that neither party objects to the divorce. If someone contests the divorce, the case becomes contentious. If the divorce is disputed, the procedure will be more time-consuming, costly, and court appearances will be required. The new no-fault divorce law should lower the number of disputed divorces and, consequently, divorce costs in the United Kingdom.
DOES MY EX-SPOUSE PAY FOR MY LEGAL COSTS?
If you go to court for child custody or a financial order, you will often be responsible for your own legal bills. In some instances, the court can issue a costs order. Typically, this occurs when one side has been purposefully difficult or reckless during talks, resulting in greater expenditures. A court may consider issues such as not responding to solicitor letters, not seeking family mediation, not making fair proposals, and neglecting to disclose financial information when determining the allocation of legal fees. This blog entry describes in further detail how the court might allocate costs. Cost of divorce monetary independence
CAN I GET A FREE DIVORCE?
Yes. If you have a low income or get certain assistance, you may be eligible for a fee waiver for the divorce court charge. You can also utilise Family Mediation in Southall to assist you achieve an agreement on the financial or child arrangements, and if you qualify, you can apply for legal aid to pay the expenses.
DO THE CAUSES OF DIVORCE AND WHO WAS AT FAULT AFFECT THE COSTS?
Not typically. Since April 2022, when the no-fault divorce legislation went into effect, there is just one reason for divorce. The applicant must pay the court unless they qualify for a fee waiver (currently £592).
IS IT LESS EXPENSIVE TO DIVORCE AFTER TWO YEARS OF SEPARATION OR WITHOUT CAUSE?
The court expenses remain unchanged at £592. However, under the new rule, you are not need to provide grounds, lessening the likelihood of a divorce being challenged and the related legal fees.
CAN I GET LEGAL AID FOR MY LEGAL COSTS?
If you have been subjected to domestic violence and can show sufficient documentation of this, such as a police, domestic abuse charity, or doctor’s report, then you are eligible for legal assistance for attorney expenses. Low-income individuals have access to legal help for family mediation.
CAN I GET A DIVORCE WITHOUT PAYING A LAWYER?
Yes. You can process the divorce petition yourself online. You can also reach an agreement on a parenting plan and a financial settlement. To make a financial arrangement legally enforceable, you will often require a lawyer to write the necessary documentation.
WHAT FINANCIAL RIGHTS DO I HAVE IN A DIVORCE?
Financial instructions are heavily influenced by necessity and Section 25 considerations. Check out our “Ultimate Guide to a Financial Settlement” for additional details on how the courts decide who gets what in a divorce.
HOW CAN I SAVE MONEY ON MY UK DIVORCE?
- Personalize the divorce paperwork
- Utilize Family Mediation as opposed to going to court
- Employ your attorney just for legal counsel and document preparation.
- Attempt to get a flat rate for all legal services.
- Attempt to reach as many agreements as feasible and to limit the extent of any disputes wherever possible.
- Focus on requirements rather than fault
It is quite simple to spend tens of thousands of pounds on a divorce and achieve nothing. Disputes throughout a divorce are what cause the divorce expenses to escalate. Consider that investing more money does not always increase your chances of ‘winning’ your case. Family law just does not function that way. In many instances, the expense of coming to court with representation exceeds the amount in dispute between the parties. The judicial system will neither punish nor reward. Try to maintain as much money as possible in the family pot and reduce the number of contentious topics. Contact our helpful staff if you like to learn more about how Family Mediation in Southall may help save costs and resolve issues.