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The divorce wasn’t my fault – do I have to pay the fees?

In England and Wales there is no such thing as a ‘no blame’ divorce. You must establish that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.

To show that this irretrievable breakdown has occurred (and for you to be granted your divorce) you have to prove that one of five things has happened – either unreasonable behaviour, adultery, separation for more than two years (with consent), separation for five years (without consent) or desertion.

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If your spouse brought your marriage to an end through unreasonable behaviour or adultery then you could request that they pay for the divorce. However, this does not include the financial proceedings, which are always separate to the divorce itself. Each party has to pay their own costs for the process of agreeing the financial settlement.

Although quite rare, if your spouse has been particularly obstructive or unreasonable or has refused to disclose their finances, then there is a possibility of persuading the judge that your spouse should pay for the costs of the financial settlement. Austin Kemp’s experienced solicitors can advise you if this could be applicable to your situation.

For more information on this subject please visit our Legal Library.


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For more information on your options call our team on 0845 862 5001 or email

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