The overall costs of your Divorce, including reaching a Financial Settlement to resolve the matrimonial finances, can vary depending on certain factors, most obviously the attitudes taken by you and your spouse and whether there is an early agreement but also whether you decide to instruct a Solicitor to guide you through the process or whether you choose to represent yourself.
The one cost that cannot be avoided in most cases is the court fee to issue the Application for a Divorce. This is a one off fee of £550 paid at the outset to your local Divorce Centre when submitting the paperwork to issue your Divorce. In some circumstances this fee can be waived or reduced if you are on a low income and/or in receipt of certain benefits. You can apply for the court to consider whether you are entitled to a reduction of the fee or complete exemption by completing a Help with Fees Form which should be submitted at the same time as the Application for Divorce.
In terms of the costs for the Divorce itself, we at Crombie Wilkinson Solicitors, offer a fixed fee of £650 + VAT to represent you as the Petitioner which includes preparation of the Application for a Divorce, and the work involved up to and including conclusion of the divorce. If you choose to complete the paperwork and represent yourself in relation to the Divorce then clearly your costs are going to be minimal. If relations are particularly amicable between you and your spouse it may be an agreement could be reached for the two of you to split the Divorce costs and court fee or you may decide that one or other of you will be responsible for payment of the same.
If you are to be the Respondent to your Spouse’s Divorce Application then again we can represent you on a fixed fee basis of £330 + VAT if you would prefer.
In relation to a financial settlement, the costs to assist you in reaching an agreed way forward vary from case to case and also depend upon whether a court application is ultimately required. If you require assistance to negotiate a settlement, including exchanging financial disclosure with your spouse/their solicitor, submitting proposals on your behalf and drafting of the Consent Order to record the agreement reached then your costs can be approximately £800 to £1000 + VAT where there are limited assets or a high level of agreement already reached. There is also a court fee of £50 which has to be paid to the court whenever a Consent Order is submitted for approval and sealing in order for it to become a legally binding document.
If on the other hand, there are complexities involved or high value assets, coupled with no prior agreement then it is likely your costs will increase particularly should matters become contested and an application to the court is required to determine the final settlement. If such court application is required there is a fee to issue the same of £210. We would be able to assess the potential costs more accurately at an initial appointment to be specific to your case and circumstances. Once again we can look at fixed fee arrangements if you would prefer.
Should you require our assistance with a Divorce or Financial Settlement or simply wish to discuss your options regarding fees and payment of the same, then please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Family Law Team.