Divorce has a reputation for being expensive, but fees don’t have to rise through the roof. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to keep the costs down so that breaking up doesn’t have to break the bank. The answer to the question ‘how much does divorce cost?’ will depend on which method you choose. This blog will run you through each available option and the costs involved, so you can make the right choice for you.
Keeping control is the most cost-effective way to separate. To do your divorce yourself you can download the forms from the government’s website and, once completed, send them to the court closest to you. In England and Wales, the fee for filing for a divorce is £550. Don’t forget to check if you’re eligible for a discount or exempt from paying these fees.
If you don’t need help negotiating with each other and are comfortable with legal wording (and happy to do a lot of the leg-work!) then you can opt to use an online site. In many cases, an online service will charge less than £100 to send you the forms you have to fill out. (If you need to pay court fees, these will be on top.)
At amicable we offer something different to other online services. We’ll fill in all the right forms for you and deal with the courts so you don’t have to. You’ll also get a dedicated Divorce Coach who will answer any queries you might have on the legal process and emotional journey and guide you through the process – from start to finish. For amicable to help, it will cost £300 for a simple divorce/dissolution and ranges up to £2850 for help with everything including negotiating your financial split, sorting your childcare arrangements and making the divorce and financial split legally binding.
Using mediators can help you meet in the middle. Mediators normally charge from £100 an hour and most couples have between three and four sessions. However, although they can help you reach an agreement, they won’t fill out the legal documents for you. Many couples will choose to have legal advice alongside mediation (and again, any court fees will be on top). So, you can expect to pay around £300 – £400 for the mediation but you’ll need to go elsewhere for the legal bit. Therefore, be sure to consider the extra cost of getting the legal documentation sorted.
Most people assume that you need a lawyer to divorce. You don’t. However, if you’re finding it hard to reach an agreement or there are any danger signs such as hiding assets, then you might need legal help. The cost will depend on what kind of divorce lawyer you use as some will bill by the hour and others will be happy to fix their fees. This ranges from £500 for a simple divorce but can reach around £15,000 if the process is long (usually because of disagreements between you). Remember that is also common for both people to get their own lawyer, unless one person decides to act on their own behalf, so the costs mentioned are per person.
Going to court will always involve a lot of legal hours, which quickly add up, so it should be avoided if possible. The cost of court proceedings will depend on how complicated your case is but it is estimated at £13,000 per person outside of the capital, with costs reaching £40,000 per person in London – often higher.