The Cost Of Divorce

Posted: Wednesday August 24 2016

By: Guest Blogger

The Cost Of Divorce

By Consilia Legal

We have been receiving a lot of enquiries at MMB Magazine, over family and employment law questions and concerns.  So we have decided to choose a query each month to answer from Consilia Legal from our readers on both topics. Do you have a employment law question or family law question if so please send them through to abbie@old.mmbmagazine.co.uk. All questions are treated in strictest confidence and all letters published will be under the name Claire.

Dear Laura

My husband and I have recently separated and we are unsure whether or not we should get divorced. The marriage is definitely over, but we’re both concerned about the cost as I’ve heard from friends who have gone through a divorce that it’s really expensive. Is this true? Someone told me it’s easier and cheaper if we wait two years. Could you give me some advice please and let me know what your charges are?

Thanks

Claire


Dear Claire

Thank you for getting in touch.

I am sorry to hear that your marriage has come to an end. I appreciate it can be difficult trying to work out the best route to go down when it comes to formalising your separation.

I think it’s important first of all for me to give you some information about the divorce process so that you understand what would be involved if you decided to get divorced. Firstly, you do not need to attend Court in order to seek a divorce unless your husband disputed the divorce proceedings. In 99% of cases I deal with, this is not the case.

There is only one ground for divorce which is that your marriage has irretrievably broken down. In order to establish that breakdown you have to prove one of five facts which are that:

  1. Your husband has committed adultery and you can no longer tolerate living with him;
  2. Your husband has behaved in such a way that you can no longer be reasonably be expected to live with him;
  3. you have lived apart in circumstances in which you both view to be permanent for a continuous period of at least two years and you each consent to a divorce being granted;
  4. your husband has deserted you for a continuous period of at least two years;
  5. you have lived apart for a continuous period of at least five years.

Based on the fact that you and your husband have not been separated for two years or more, the only possible facts which may be applicable to you are (a) or (b). I understand however that you are considering waiting two years so that you can use (c). Whilst waiting two years means that you can get divorced without having to use a fault based fact e.g. behaviour, the divorce process remains the same and the paperwork that would need to be prepared by a solicitor on your behalf is no less time consuming. This means that it is likely, as is the case with my practice, that the solicitors fees would be the same whether you divorced now or in two years’ time. The Court fee is also the same cost in either case.

The divorce process typically takes approximately four months to complete providing that your husband does not dispute the proceedings. Again this applies whichever fact you use to establish that your marriage has broken down. I can talk you through the divorce process and what you would need to do if you decide that this is how you would like to proceed.  At Consilia Legal we charge a fixed fee for uncontested divorce proceedings which starts at £750 plus VAT if both parties are living in England. The local family court also charges a fee in order to start divorce proceedings which is currently £550.

It is important to be aware that the process of divorce simply brings your marriage to a legal end. It does not automatically resolve issues concerning the care of any minor dependent children and/or financial issues associated with your relationship break down. These issues may require legal advice and this could be what your friends were referring to when they told you their divorce has been expensive as fees can increase considerably if you and your husband are unable to reach an agreement in relation to your finances and/or the care of your children. I am a family mediator, and I will often refer clients to family mediation to help them resolve these issues in a cost effective way.

I hope that helps clarify matters for you. If you would like to speak to me further about your situation, please do get in touch and I will arrange an appointment for us at my offices in Leeds City Centre.

Best wishes,

Laura Clapton

Solicitor

Consilia Legal

*Please note that the responses are legal information as opposed to legal advice from Consila legal with the cost of divorce.

# The Cost Of Divorce