How much does a divorce cost if both parties agree?
One of the concerns that everyone has when they are thinking about getting a divorce is how much it is going to cost. If the reason your marriage has broken down is because of financial strain to begin with, then it can feel like a daunting prospect to proceed with a divorce.
A divorce consists of two parts (if we accept that you have already decided who the children are to live with and spend time with). These are:
1. The divorce itself
2. Your financial agreement
These are treated as two separate issues, although they are normally dealt with simultaneously.
For your divorce, the person who files the petition (known as the Petitioner) has to pay a Court fee of £550.00.
This is the first cost anyone has to incur within divorce proceedings. The Petitioner can also ask the other person to pay some or all of this within their petition if they want to. There are no other fees to pay, but there are more forms during the course of the divorce process which will need to be sent to the Court, resulting in your Decree Absolute being made and your divorce coming to an end.
Solicitors can take on the responsibility of completing all of these forms and filing them at Court for you. Some firms, like Watson Thomas Solicitors, do this for a fixed fee. Watson Thomas Solicitors charge a fixed fee of £1,000.00 plus VAT to help with this.
It is important for you to finalise a financial agreement in your divorce, even if your assets are minimal. This is because you each have a claim on the other’s assets until you remarry, and therefore if there is no agreement confirming those claims are satisfied, they can remain live for many years to come.
If you have already agreed what you are going to do, then this agreement can be put into a document called a Consent Order. This document records how you are going to divide your assets, or if there are no assets it will simply record a “clean break”. It is filed at Court after the second stage of the divorce proceedings (but not before), and there is a Court fee of £25.00.
Solicitors can help with preparing your Consent Order, although the majority will request that both parties undergo financial disclosure before they advise on the merits of any agreement. Watson Thomas Solicitors offer a service for those who have reached an agreement and only require this to be drafted. Our fixed fee is £2,000.00 plus VAT.
Therefore, if you do wish to divorce, your court fees will total £575.00 and if you require assistance, Watson Thomas Solicitors can help at a Total Fixed Fee of £3,000.00 plus VAT.
It is also possible for your ex-spouse to contribute to your costs equally, particularly if they have not instructed solicitors, and so this could be £1,500 plus VAT each with shared court fees of £287.50.