The cost of getting divorced has always been one of the biggest worries for most people contemplating ending their marriage. However, with the ongoing cost of living crisis, many people are becoming increasingly concerned about whether they can afford a divorce at all. From legal fees and solicitor’s bills to the financial challenge of establishing two households from one, it is easy to understand why people are worried. As a result, an increasing number of divorcing couples are turning to cheaper options, such as DIY divorces. Whilst this may cut costs in the short term, it can often result in problems further down the line. In this guide, we will outline how much it costs to get divorced and explore some cost-effective and – more importantly – legally binding options.
How much does it cost to get divorced in the UK?
According to Aviva, the average cost of getting divorced and separating in the UK in 2018 was £14,561. However, divorce costs can vary drastically based on the route you choose to take and your personal circumstances. The divorce itself can be undertaken online via the government website with a court fee of £593. A simple negotiated financial settlement with the help of a solicitor can range from £3,000-£5,000 + VAT, whereas more complex divorces can cost significantly more.
In 2015, Liam Gallagher and Nicole Appleton managed to run up an £800,000 legal bill whilst getting divorced, described as ‘manifestly excessive’ by the judge. Whilst £800,000 legal bills are certainly not the norm (thankfully), this case does provide an excellent example of how personal circumstances and the route taken to reach a financial settlement can significantly impact the cost of getting divorced.
The best way to find out how much your divorce could cost is to speak to an expert solicitor. At Scott Bailey, we charge £295 + VAT for an initial fixed-fee consultation. During this consultation, we will help you understand the different routes that may be suitable for you and what to expect cost-wise.
What is the cheapest way to get divorced in the UK?
Whilst no one wants to spend more getting divorced than necessary, you should never compromise on reaching a legally binding settlement to cut costs. In a worrying trend, an increasing number of divorcing couples are turning to DIY divorces and negotiating settlements between themselves or divorcing with no financial settlement at all. Unless settlement agreements are recorded in a legal document and approved by the court, they are not legally binding or enforceable, leaving both parties at risk.
Applying for a divorce yourself can help reduce costs; however, it is best to consult a specially trained solicitor first. Mistakes made during the application can be tricky and time-consuming to rectify or have significant pension and tax implications. At Scott Bailey, our expert divorce solicitors will advise clients on whether this is appropriate and provide support and guidance throughout. For more information, view our article on the risks of DIY divorces.
Although divorce applications can be relatively straightforward, dealing with finances or children arrangements tends to be much more complicated. You should always seek legal advice from a specialist solicitor to ensure your settlement is legally binding and protects your interests. Whilst this is essential, it does not need to be expensive. There are many legal routes to reaching a financial settlement or resolving disputes regarding children that are significantly cheaper than battling it out in court, including mediation or Resolution Together – One Couple One Lawyer.
Mediation is one of the most cost-effective routes. By working with a trained Mediator, you can reach a settlement that works for both parties without needing to go to court. This approach can be significantly cheaper and is strongly encouraged by the courts. At Scott Bailey, our trained Mediators help to resolve a wide variety of disputes facing divorcing couples. Unfortunately, mediation is not suitable for all divorcing couples – our expert divorce solicitor mediators will be able to advise you on the best route for you following your fixed-fee consultation.
Resolution Together – One Couple One Lawyer is a new initiative and way of working where a divorcing couple share one lawyer rather than having separate lawyers. Our Resolution Together trained lawyers can assist you with the difficulties that arise from divorce and the issues that flow from it, including children arrangements or finances, in a constructive and joint approach.
For more information on the different routes available, download our guide: Types of Divorce – a guide to the different routes to reaching a financial settlement or resolving disputes regarding children.
Whatever your circumstances or financial requirements, our expert divorce solicitors can advise on the most suitable route. Drawing on their extensive experience, you can rest assured that our highly skilled team will help you achieve the best possible outcome. To get started, book a fixed-fee consultation today.