Want to keep the cost of divorce low? Read on

Stacks of coins on bank note
Originally published on 28th September 2018 at 11:20 AM

The cost of divorce can be huge. It’s estimated that couples can end up paying £8,000 each in legal fees just for lawyers to sort out their finances. The cost of going to court is estimated at £13,000 per person outside of London, reaching £40,000 pp in London, although these fees can be higher.

If you put that into context, it’s the equivalent of a third bedroom, a garden or an easy commute to primary school all given to lawyers. This blog tells you how to keep the cost of divorce low.

1. The two most expensive things in a divorce are lawyers and conflict

And they usually come in that order. Our advice is always – amicable is better for the kids the finances and your future. Have a sit-down conversation and separate the demise of the relationship from the business of separating your finances. Agree to work together to do the right thing and be amicable. If you do nothing else I promise this will save you a fortune and keep the cost of divorce low.

2. You can save money by doing your research and finding out what the law says

Don’t rush off to a lawyer, there is plenty of legal information available for free (E.g. our blog – Divorce Tips). Do your research, discuss your finding with your ex and see where you can agree on some principles first before tackling the detail.

3. Keep the focus on the family, not your individual entitlement

Lawyers have to work in our adversarial legal system and are duty-bound to prioritise their client’s interests over the other partners. This sets up conflict and polarises people pushing them to extremes and focusing them on ‘entitlement’. At amicable we do things very differently and help people look at what’s best for their family as a whole. We help them make fairer agreements that are right for them with a legal review of their settlement from both perspectives. this is a much smarter way of negotiating and keeping the cost of divorce low.

4. Start with the children

If you have children start with them and answer the question ‘what do our children need to be happy, successful thriving kids?’  This is a very different to ‘ what am I entitled to?’ We always encourage parents to start with arrangements for their children and build the finances around them. You will save money and have peace of mind if you do things in this order.

5. Set clear financial goals to keep the cost of divorce low

Lots of people start a divorce without really understanding what they are trying to achieve financially. Think about how you want to be at the end of your divorce. Do you want to be debt free, independent, go back to work? When people set goals they are more likely to get what they want and tend to stay focused on the future. f you can try not to sweat the small stuff, you are likely to achieve a settlement more quickly. This is crucial as divorce is a long process and you need stamina.

6. Be honest and upfront, disclose thoroughly and truthfully

You can only divide things when you know what you’ve got. You should make a list of all your finances and show it to your partner. This is called a financial disclosure. Putting assets out of the reach of your partner (for example by putting things in other people’s name) is the quickest way to start a legal war. Don’t do it. You must make a full and honest disclosure. Not disclosing fully and truthfully means your case can be re-opened and a new order made, even after your death.

7. Don’t pay a lawyer to do your disclosure

£400p/h (plus VAT) is a lot of cash for photocopying and letter-writing. Your disclosure doesn’t have to take masses of time if you use technology. At amicable we have developed a free app to help collect, share and evidence all your financial disclosure. Our divorce coaches will help you negotiate a financial settlement without resorting to expensive lawyers.

An amicable divorce is not only better for your kids but also better for your wallet Why give away vital family money to legal professionals who don't need it as much as you?

About amicable

  • amicable is a ground-breaking divorce service that allows couples to divorce simply and without the need for lawyers
  • The app is free to download and helps couples communicate, complete their financial disclosure and draw up parenting plans
  • amicable offers fixed price divorce services 
  • This reduces divorce time by 50% and costs by up to ten times
  • amicable offers a “guaranteed outcome” through arbitration for a fixed price of £1,250 per person

Book a free 15 minute advice call

If you have any questions, or would like some support, please book a free 15-minute call with one of our experts here.

Find the right service for you

About the author

Kate Daly is a co-founder of amicable and host of The Divorce Podcast. Kate is a divorce expert and helps couples and separated parents navigate divorce and separation amicably. She's passionate about changing the way the world divorces and campaigns for fairer divorce laws and access to justice.


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