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How much does a divorce cost?
- AuthorAngela Killa
Divorce costs depend upon the particular case. In every case, there are Court fees, which are currently £550 for the filing of your petition. This includes the fee for applying for the decree absolute. Even if your divorce is relatively straightforward and you do it yourself, you will still have to pay the Court fees.
However, the majority of people opt to have a Solicitor manage the divorce process for them – draft the petition, issue it, apply for the decree nisi (first decree) and then the decree absolute (second decree). If this is you, and your divorce is a straightforward undefended divorce, then with JCP Solicitors you are looking at a fixed cost of £650 plus VAT if you are the petitioner (when you are commencing the divorce) and £350 plus VAT for the respondent (when your spouse has commenced the divorce). This is in addition to the Court fee. These costs could be greater if one of the spouses fails to acknowledge the petition or refuses to consent to the divorce.
Unfortunately, very few cases involve only the divorce paperwork. In most marriages there is a marital home, money in a joint account or savings scheme, potential joint debts, pensions held by one or both parties, and other financial issues which need to be agreed on. Some cases can be further complicated when there are children and high emotions involved, and if either party has business interests.
If both parties can agree on how to resolve financial matters, a case can be very simple and may not require the parties to attend court. If this is the case, your Solicitor will simply need to draft a Financial Remedy Consent Order for you –but the costs can rise to the tens of thousands where there are really complex assets.
If you would like a Solicitor to assist with the exchange of financial disclosure and to negotiate an agreement on your behalf, you should budget for costs of up to £3000 plus the Court fee. If you think you could reach an agreement using mediation instead, the costs of the mediator are likely to be around £500 based on three sessions. You will then still need a Solicitor to draft a Financial Remedy Consent Order which will could cost up to £1500 + VAT and disbursements depending on how much work is required.
If an agreement cannot be reached and you need to go to Court, costs could easily reach £3000 - £5000 + VAT for a short case. If a fully contested hearing is required, costs are usually in the region of £5000-£10000 + VAT with additional costs as noted below.
It is also worthwhile understanding at the outset that, in addition you will need to budget for the following:
- Valuer’s fees in respect of the matrimonial home, other properties, policies and assets
- Pension fund managers for transfer value figures and other calculations
- Banks and credit card companies for copy statements, if not available
- HM Revenue for copy tax documents, if not available
- Independent Financial Advisers for advice on how to manage your financial affairs
- The cost of actuaries to calculate pension sharing figures
- A barrister to represent you at any final hearing if required
All of this can seem very daunting and scary to those going through marital breakup, especially at a time when money is tight. However your Solicitor will be able to give you a transparent breakdown of what you will need to pay, and often a payments can be made on monthly, or quarterly basis to help spread the costs and make your finances more manageable.
For further advice, please contact our specialist Solicitors in:
- Swansea: 01792 773773
- Cardiff: 02920 22 5472
- Carmarthen: 01267 234022
- Caerphilly: 02920 860628
- Cowbridge: 01446 771742
- Haverfordwest: 01437 764723
- Fishguard: 01348 873671
- Pontypridd: 01443 408455