How Much Does A Divorce Cost In The UK?
If you are planning to get divorced, you will have to pay a number of different fees in order to obtain your decree absolute. A decree absolute is a legal document that legally ends the marriage.
Before you can obtain the document, you need to go through a few different stages first and consider the divorce costs you will face. Firstly you need to have been married for at least one year, before you can get divorced. If your relationship is not going to last any longer, this could be the next viable step to take.
Divorce Costs UK
Filing for divorce costs £550, and the money needs to be paid so the process can be started. The divorce petition form should be filled out with details of your name, address, your former partners name and address, and your marriage certificate.
If you receive a divorce petition, you will need to respond within 3 weeks, otherwise the court will assume you have agreed to the divorce. If and when you do respond, you will need to fill in the petition, as will as the ‘Acknowledgement of service’ that comes with it.
If you disagree with the divorce, the petition needs to bee filled in and returned within 8 days. There is a section on the form that allows you to state that you are defending the divorce.
It’s likely that you will have to pay a court fee of £245 to disagree with the divorce.
Dividing Property & Money In Divorce
You and your former partner will need to work out how you are going to divide the property and money that you both have. Many people think that each person should get 50% of the value of the property, and the money, but it’s not always that easy.
If you both of you can agree how to split everything, you may not have to go to court. However, you may need to use a divorce solicitor to ensure any agreement that you make is legally binding.
The solicitor will need to draft what is known as a ‘Consent order’, before they ask the court to approve it. The order will detail how you are going to divide up the property, money, and anything else that needs considering. This order currently costs £50.
The court will consider the order if you haven’t yet applied for the decree absolute, or if you’ve started filing for divorce. Note that both parties need to sign the consent order, as well as a statement of information document, and a notice of application for a financial order.
Divorce And Going To Court
If you and your former partner can come to an agreement as to why your marriage is ending, again, you may be able to avoid going to court and some expensive divorce costs. When filing for divorce you will need to give one of 5 reasons for ending the marriage:
- Adultery – If your former partner has had intercourse with someone of the opposite sex. However, if you still lived as a couple at the same address for a period of six months after you found out about the adultery, you will need to give another reason.
- Desertion – If your wife or husband has left you, without giving a good reason, without your consent, or for more than 2 years in the last 2 ½ years, you could file for divorce on these grounds. You can also file for divorce on these grounds if your wife or husband has left you in order to bring the relationship to an end.
- Unreasonable behaviour – If your former partner has been physically violent, refused to pay for upkeep of the home, or has been taking drugs or drinking, you can file for divorce on these grounds. You can also file for divorce on these grounds if your wife or husband has verbally abused you.
- Finally, if you have both lived apart from more than 2 years, you can apply for a divorce, however, you both have to agree to it in writing. If you can’t come to an agreement, you will have to wait until you have been living apart for 5 years before you can file.
Receive Help From a Mediator
You can receive help from a mediator if you and your former partner need help on agreeing with dividing money, property and divorce costs. However, you may have to pay for the help, which can cost from £65 per person to £120 per person.
Ask the court to approve the paperwork
When asking the court to approve the paperwork, you need to:
- Apply for divorce, giving the reasons why you are filing
- If your former partner does not agree with your reasons for the divorce, you will be issued with a decree nisi. If your former partner wishes to defend the decree nisi, it’s likely that you will have to go to a hearing.
- Six weeks after you have been issued with your decree nisi, you can apply for the decree absolute. This legally binding document brings your current marriage to an end, and it also allows you to remarry should you wish.
If your application to divorce is rejected
If you are sent a ‘Notice of refusal of judge’s certificate’ you will be told what you need to do next. You may have to attend a hearing, or you may simply need to give the judge more information.
The average divorce in the UK costs approximately £935, this sum includes:
- £550 filing fee
- £245 court fee if you disagree with the reason for divorce
- £50 for the consent order so you can divide up the property
- £90 which is the average fee for a mediator.
While this figure may seem like a lot of money, it does cover the cost of the courts and other legal representatives that you are likely to work with during the divorce process. However, every case will be different, meaning some divorces may be cheaper than the estimated £935, whereas others may be significantly more, depending on the circumstances involved. Please note this is purely divorce costs and doesn’t include legal fees, which can vary considerably depending on what property and other assets need to be divided fairly in the eyes of the courts.
Writer’s Bio: Lewis Murawski is the marketing and business development manager at Diem Legal and Managing Director of Kahootz Media. Need professional help with digital marketing? You can connect with Lewis directly on LinkedIn
*Our content is not designed to constitute legal advice. If you require legal advice we always recommend contacting a qualified legal professional and are happy to provide recommendations*