One of the most synonymous issues related to divorce is cost. If you are just starting proceedings, you may wonder what you are entitled to financially, how much solicitors will be and whether or not you can pay as you go for your legal fees. We look at what you can expect cost-wise for a divorce in 2022.
What will I be entitled to?
Typically, all divorces, will start negotiations on a fifty-fifty split basis. That means that each of you will be theoretically assigned half of the assets you had when you were married, irrespective of which party earned the most. As discussions ensue, other factors will come to play a role in the final agreement.
Factors in a divorce settlement
The elements that will affect the final agreement include who has custody of any children and the level of complexity involved in the property and estates. In addition, fees will vary if you manage your divorce online, seek support from online resources or enlist the help of a family lawyer. If the divorce is contested this will also influence cost.
How does a contested divorce impact the cost?
When a divorce is contested, one of the parties is opposing it, meaning you will have to go to court. A petitioner (the person filing for divorce) will usually pay solicitor’s fees plus £593 for court administration. The respondent does usually not have to pay the £593 but they will have to pay their solicitor if they want to be legally represented.
What do solicitors charge for a divorce?
In some cases, it’s beneficial to be charged by the hour. Hourly rates are usually used when the length of a divorce is not clear or there are unresolved issues relating to it. Associated rates will be attributed to the expertise of the legal expert assigned to your case. The fee variability can be linked to the level of prosperity in your area, marked by house prices, for example.
Am I better to pay a fixed fee for my divorce?
If your divorce is a relatively straight forward, then a fixed fee is the preferred choice. You will know exactly what you are paying and what you are getting. Services will be broken down and costed in a quotation ahead of beginning the process. This will include the preparation of paperwork, legal advice, application fees e.g. final orders, as well as ongoing communications.
Pay as you go
Many legal firms impart their knowledge and share their services on a flexible basis. This means that you have the option of a ‘pay as you go’ type approach. Perhaps you would like clarification ahead of finalising your agreement, or there could be other specific areas where you want that ad hoc specialist advice. If so, this arrangement can help you manage your finances effectively.
Reaching a financial settlement
Finally, when it comes to costs related to a financial settlement, if your case isn’t complex, legal fees from a solicitor will be anything up to around £800 (this involves drafting a Financial Remedy order). An additional cost for court is £50. If things aren’t so simple, you could pay around £1500 – £1700 in solicitor’s fees. If you are unable to reach a decision about how you want to split finances, you will need to seek an adjudication form the court.
With so many variables in divorce costs, it’s worth spending time to take full stock of your joint assets, and your own unique situation. This will give clarity on what the best route forward is, and will give rise to a more accurate picture of the real cost of your divorce.