To fully determine how much a divorce can cost we need to deal with a understand the framework we are working within. The problem is, that the divorce process is actually split into two distinct parts: the actual divorce and the financial settlement.
In England and Wales, the courts charge £550 to issue the divorce petition. This is the start of the divorce process.
If you choose to use a solicitor, their costs will be on top of this. Some firms offer a ‘fixed fee’ divorce but this is only really an option, if your divorce is relatively simple.
You do not have to use a solicitor. Many people choose to complete the forms themselves but it’s important to ensure that you fill in the forms correctly or they could be sent back to you.
Coming to an agreement about how the finances should be split on divorce is often the most expensive (and time-consuming) part of any divorce.
As part of the financial settlement, both you and your spouse must fully disclose your finances. This involves you both completing a ‘Form E’, containing all of your financial information (with evidence attached) and then exchanging this form with your spouses’ form on a pre-agreed day.
Again, it is possible to do this without a solicitor but not filling in the form correctly or omitting to answer questions, can result in delays, questions and increased costs. Some people also try to hide their assets and not fully disclose their finances to their spouse. This is where costs can also increase.
If your spouse is dishonest on one aspect of your finances, you may find it difficult to trust anything else they have said. This can also result in a further rise in costs, as negotiations can take longer once the trust has been broken.
After this ‘full and frank’ disclosure, negotiations can then take place as to what your settlement may look like. It’s useful to obtain legal advice because it can help you to understand what you may be able to expect from your settlement and how a court may decide your settlement, so time is not wasted and costs are not increased by unrealistic expectations from either side.
It’s important to then get a court order stating the details of your financial settlement.
Neglecting to do this can result in claims being made by your spouse many years down the line.
If you cannot resolve your financial settlement through other methods, such as mediation or collaborative law, you may end up having to go to court, which can result in costs significantly increasing.
The cost of your divorce will mainly depend upon the complexity of your assets and whether or not your spouse provides full disclosure of their financial situation at the outset. Non disclosure, through dishonestly or mistakes, can result in more lengthy negotiations and may even end in an expensive court battle.
For more information on this subject please visit our Legal Library.
For more information on the divorce process call our team on 0845 862 5001 or email email@example.com.
We offer a nationwide service. We have client meeting office facilities available, in order to have face-to-face client meetings / conferences as and when required in:
Leeds Office: Princes Exchange, Princes Square, Leeds, LS1 4HY
Wakefield Office: Market Walk, Wakefield, WF1 1QR
Halifax Office: Old Lane, Halifax, HX3 5WP
Huddersfield Office: Northumberland Street Huddersfield, HD1 1RL
Coventry Office: Warwick Road, Coventry, CV1 2DY
Canary Wharf Office: 25 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5LB
Please contact us for more details.