Divorce Costs - Understanding the Basics of the Costs of
If you and your spouse have decided to call an end to the pain of a failed
marriage you are most likely seeking a divorce. While everyone has probably told you that this can be an
expensive proposition, most of them really have no idea what a divorce costs unless they have been through one
themselves. In England when you use a solicitor or lawyer to help you with your divorce there are three areas
of the divorce that most likely will have to be settled legally.
The amount of your divorce lawyers fees will be based on how many of these three areas he must
deal with and how much your soon to be ex spouse is going to contest them.
The areas that must be handled are the divorce itself, in particular the "decree absolute" which
is the paperwork that brings your marriage to a final and complete end and allows both parties to go on with their
lives and remarry under British law.
The next issue regarding the divorce costs has to do with your children if you have any. This is one of the most contested
areas of a divorce and covers such issues as who gets custody, how much child support must be paid, when it is to
be paid and how much the non-custodial parent will be allowed to have contact and visitation with their children
after the divorce is finalized.
Finally the lawyers have to help sort out all of the matrimonial property, this means who gets
what out of everything that was accrued during your marriage. This includes houses, cars, belongings and any other
real property that has value. It also includes who will be responsible for paying any maintenance of any of the
property. All of this must be figured into the cost of divorce lawyers as they charge by the hour and the more they
have to do the longer it is going to take.
Since not every divorce is heavily disputed or involves all of these issues, quite often the
divorce costs are much lower. Especially in divorces where there are no children involved or if there are children
but both parties have already agreed on terms before asking the court to make the decision for them. However when
the court must get involved in deciding what is to happen to the children and who is going to pay support, the
costs can become quite high.
Unless your divorce is likely to be contested, most are not, the average divorce lawyer
has a fixed rate for divorce. Although the price of your lawyer will vary from lawyer to lawyer the current (as of
2010) court divorce costs are approximately £350 which breaks down as
follows, £300 court fees for the divorce decree, £40 for the decree absolute plus another £7.50 for a sworn
affidavit that must be sworn during your court proceedings. Remember however these figures are subject to change
at any time so you should check with your solicitor to determine actual costs.
For the most part it does not matter who pays the divorce costs, although each party generally
pays for their own lawyer. Unless the divorce is particularly bitter or contested most parties share the actual
court costs as long as they agree to do so. In some cases the respondent may be forced to pay the full costs of the
divorce, especially in the case of unreasonable behavior however because such a claim can quickly cause the
lawyer's fees to add up most parties agree to an amicable divorce which keeps the costs at a minimum.