There are always horror stories flying around about the cost of divorce; you will have seen news about celebrities splitting and huge sums of money changing hands. But how much does divorce really cost, and what is the best way to manage these costs at what can be a very difficult time?
What Is The Cost Of Divorce?
There are two different types of divorce – contested and uncontested. If both parties agree on the major issues and have come to an agreement on these (for example, custody of children and separation of finance), then this is known as an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce can be settled relatively cheaply, so it is important to try to discuss these issues beforehand, if possible.
An uncontested divorce has a number of fees:
- A court-filing fee of £550
- A £50 fee for filing a financial consent order (optional)
- Any solicitor fees
Contested Divorce Fees
99% of divorce cases in England and Wales are uncontested. The 1% of contested divorces are the ones which might come to mind when you think about divorce fees. They can be bitter and the costs end up soaring because of this.
If you don’t reach an agreement initially, you need to apply to the court for an adjudication. This costs £255 in fees and then there will be additional solicitors fees on top. If a fully contested final hearing in court is necessary (where the judge hears the arguments and makes a final decision, solicitor and court fees can add up to £25,000-£30,000.
Are There Any Costs After Divorce?
The cost of divorce doesn’t end with the court and solicitor fees. Lifestyle costs (such as rent) lead to the average cost of a divorce being £14,561. You may also be eligible to pay child maintenance costs.
How Can I Manage The Cost Of Divorce?
There are several things you can do to try to keep the costs low:
- Try to come to an agreement as early in the process as possible. This will save money, and can lead to a more amicable relationship for the future – which is important if there are children involved.
- If you are struggling to come to an agreement, mediation is a good option. There are costs associated with mediation, but they are significantly less than the costs of fighting a contested divorce in court.
- Choose a solicitor that provides a fixed fee service. Costs can easily spiral if you haven’t agreed how much you are going to pay upfront.
Where Can I Go For More Help?
Beeston Shenton Solicitors’ dedicated family law team is experienced at handling divorces in Staffordshire and Cheshire. With offices in Newcastle-under-Lyme and meeting rooms in Knutsford and Sandbach, we are perfectly situated to help you. Contact us today.