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Divorce Costs in the UK – Who Pays?

divorce costs in the UK who pays

When we say “divorce costs” it is important to understand that this relates to the costs of the divorce only, it does not cover any costs incurred in respect of your finances.

In April 2022 the new laws came in which meant that in England and Wales we now have the ‘no fault divorce’. This means that someone who wishes to end their marriage, no longer has to claim that their spouse has behaved badly.

The Court fee to apply for a divorce is £593.  You may be eligible for help with the court fee if you are claiming benefits or are on a low income.  See link here for more details.  You will need to apply for help with the court fee using Form EX160, see link here.

This can be dealt with at the time of lodging the application on the online portal.

Some couples who wish to be amicable and keep matters as equal as possible, may agree to split the court fee. If the person receiving the Divorce application fails to file the Acknowledge of Service, then there may be additional costs incurred, such as the cost of having your spouse personally served with the Divorce application.

Since we no longer have fault based divorce, costs can no longer be claimed astronomically, but instead a separate application must be made. Costs will only be considered where costs have been incurred because the other party has caused delay or extra applications needing to be made in actual proceedings.

The grounds on which a divorce application can be challenged are limited to questions of jurisdiction or the validity of the marriage itself. If such challenges are made, then it is likely that a costs order will be made against the challenger if they are not successful.

Our fees:

We estimate below our fees for a straightforward divorce.

For an Applicant we might estimate around £1,373.00 and for the Respondent in the region of £420.00.

Applicant – Not Disputed

Cost:

Our time                             £650.00

VAT on our time               £130.00

Court Fee                           £593.00

Total                                £1,373.00

These fees will increase if the following applies or is needed:

  1. Obtaining certified copy of marriage certificate
  2. Enquiry agent fees should the divorce papers need to be served on your spouse personally. £120 to £200 including VAT if personal service is needed.
  3. The fee for the preliminary advice meeting.
  4. Detailed advice in relation to financial or children matter
  5. Enforcement of any costs order made

Respondent – Not Disputed

Cost:

Our time                             £350.00

VAT on our time               £70.00

Total                                 £420.00

 These fees will increase if the following applies or is needed:

  1. Enforcement of any costs order made
  2. Detailed advice in relation to financial or children matters
  3. The fee for the preliminary advice meeting

If the matter is a disputed divorce, then the costs can increase significantly. In regard to our fees, we are unable to give guidelines as there are too many variables.

The Applicant’s estimate is higher due to the cost of the £593 court fee and the drafting of the Divorce Application.

These costs estimates can vary significantly dependant on the work involved and the amount of correspondence and communications between the parties.

It is imperative that you seek legal advice as soon as possible.  Contact us today to arrange a consultation with one of our dedicated family lawyers who can provide you with clear, understandable legal advice and a tailored plan of action based on your own unique situation.

Article dated:  05.07.2024

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