How much does a divorce cost if we both agree?

By April 7, 2016
2 year separation divorce image

Divorce costs vary case-by-case and how much your divorce will cost will depend on how you approach obtaining a divorce.

Regardless of this, however, in every case, there are court fees to pay, which are often forgotten about but need careful consideration when assessing the cost of divorce.

1) How much are court fees in divorce?

Regardless of how you file for divorce, there are court fees of £550 to pay in England and Wales, unless you are on a low-income or receive certain benefits.

The court fee will cover your entire divorce process, as in 2013 the court fee payment was increased to cover all applications for one fee instead of two separate payments.

This means that even if you handle the divorce process yourself, the cost of divorce will be £550.

We recommend using a court fee exemption calculator to see whether or not you are partially or fully exempt from paying court fees in your divorce.

2) Typical costs of divorce using a solicitor

High-street solicitors vary in price depending on where you live. In London the average hourly rate stands between £150-£250 per hour.

Whereas, the more north of London you go, the price seems to level out and hourly rates average between £100-£150.

This however, will still take the cost of your divorce to around £1,300 (including court fees and VAT), which is unnecessary if your divorce is amicable and straightforward.

If your divorce situation is amicable and straightforward, you can have a solicitor led divorce for £299 fixed fee, this will save you over £750 compared to using the high street.

3) Costs of divorce when using an online divorce

Online divorce is nothing new, it’s been around now since 1999 and has helped over 500,000 people obtain a quick and easy divorce without needing hire a solicitor.

However, it’s not for everyone and in certain situations it’s not possible because legal advice or legal representation will be required.

Online divorce providers have a range of services starting from as little as £59, all the way up to £399.

he low costs of these services does not mean that they compromise the quality of the service they provide, it’s more that they value you the client and don’t have huge overheads of fancy offices unlike high-street law firms.

If there is agreement to the divorce, an online divorce would be ideal for you and could help save you thousands.
Costs of divorce when using an online divorce;

  • DIY Divorce Service = £59 + £550 (£609)
  • Managed Divorce Service = £169 + £550 (£719)
  • Solicitor Managed Divorce = £299 + £550 (£849)

These costs do not include financial orders or children arrangements, they simply dissolve your marriage.

4) Divorce costs when handling your own divorce

In some cases you’ll be able to complete the divorce process yourself without any help, which will reduce the cost of your divorce.

The divorce process is largely a paperwork process and if you are confident completing this paperwork and corresponding with the courts throughout, you are entitled to file for divorce without any help.

However, over 60% of all divorce petitions that are send into court by petitioners that received no help in filing their divorce papers were errornous. 

These errors on the divorce petition can lead to longer waiting times, additional fees (potentially £140) and ultimately a more stressful divorce process.

We’d advise seeking free divorce advice before filing your divorce papers with the courts as errors can lead to additional fees, which will affect the cost of your divorce.

The total cost of divorce, were you to do it yourself with no errors, would be £550.

5) Financial settlement costs in divorce

A divorce is rarely just the paperwork process, as in most cases there will be a marital home, money in a joint savings account or pensions being held by one or both parties that need to be fairly split.

These matters need to be agreed on and put into a financial order, commonly known as a ‘consent order’ or ‘financial order’.

If you and your spouse are able to come to an agreement yourselves with regards to splitting your assets and finances, you can instruct a solicitor to draft you a financial consent order (a simple clean break order).
This will typically cost you between £700-£850+VAT depending on the solicitor you hire.
If however, you have more complicated assets to divide within your agreement, such as pension sharing orders or you require a solicitor to help you achieve a fair financial settlement, your costs are likely to be £1,500-£3,000+VAT.

Therefore, if you can agree how to fairly split your assets and finances without instructing a lawyer, you can save yourself thousands.

If you require an expert family law solicitor to draft your financial order, we can help you with this for a fixed fee of £139 with our consent order service.

The reality versus myth of divorce costs

The divorce part is actually the bit that does not need to cost the earth as it is essentially an administrative exercise.

The average cost if you went to a high street solicitor in 2015 was £722 + VAT + court filing fees Source: law Society gazette.

Of course, if you cannot agree about how you are going to split your assets and other finances then you may find the bills racking up and the cost of your divorce will head into the thousands.

Research from law firm Seddons, which was published in the Mirror shows that the average actual cost of divorce is over £70,000.

They take into account the effects of divorce, which includes; finding alternative accommodation, legal fees to solicitors and paying off debt and sharing assets.

Managed Divorce Service - £169 Fixed Fee
We can help save you over £750 on the cost of your divorce by allowing our divorce experts to manage your entire divorce process, removing the need to hire a solicitor.

How to keep your divorce costs down

  • Manage your emotions – Keep a calm head and do not get drawn into battles.
  • Do as much of the administration work yourself such as photocopying, gathering documents etc.
  • Consider going to mediation before resorting to a lawyer.
  • Do the divorce part online with Quickedivorce for just £169 fixed fee (not £722!) + court fees.
  • Be practical and don’t fight for every last penny or knife and fork as this delays the divorce process and can incur additional fees.
  • Consider using solicitors firm that will charge you for portions of work rather than by time.

Conclusion

We hope this bite-size blog post on the cost of divorce has been helpful in giving you an insight into how much your divorce might cost you and how you can keep your divorce costs down.

If you would like advice on our range of low cost fixed fee divorce services, simply call 01793 384 032 and speak to one of our friendly advisers.

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