IT should be “happily ever after”, but 40 per cent of marriages end in divorce.
And just like getting hitched, splitting up can be expensive – sometimes even more so than the big day.
How much does a divorce cost in the UK?
The minimum cost of getting divorced is £550, which is the mandatory court fee.
But in reality, it’s likely to be much more.
Experts put the UK average at £14,000 when the cost of solicitors and other lifestyle changes are taken into account.
That being said, it’s very difficult to put an exact figure on divorce.
Each case is different – so will cost a different amount.
For example, an uncontested separation – when you both agree – will cost far less than a hostile split.
How can I get a divorce if I have no money?
It is possible to get legal aid to pay for advice, mediation and representation in court if you can’t afford the fees.
However, this is means-tested and you need to demonstrate that your problem is serious enough to warrant help and that you can’t raise the money yourself.
Usually, you’ll have to give details and evidence of your income, benefits, savings and property.
And, according to gov.uk, you may also have to provide evidence about the divorce case, such as providing a court order.
How much does the average divorce cost?
As mentioned above, the average divorce is thought to cost more than £14,000.
Contested cases which are dragged through the courts can rack up large solictor’s fees, increasing the total.
There is also settlements to consider, as well as the financial costs of starting a new life, such as buying a new home.
How much does the cheapest divorce cost?
The absolute basic cost is £550 for the divorce fee, which is payable by the petitioner – the person seeking the divorce.
That person will also face higher solicitor’s fees in the process, typically between £450 and £950.
The other person is the “respondent” and does not have to pay the divorce fee.
Legal fees are also lower, probably around £250 to £600.
Who pays for a divorce due to adultery?
It is commonly thought that any admittance of adultery will have an impact on the financial outcome of a divorce.
But, agreeing a financial settlement is entirely different to ending your marriage legally.
This means the reason for the divorce will have no direct impact on the cost, technically speaking.
That being said, a former spouse who has been cheated on may feel resentment, leading them to go for a higher settlement and take a more hostile approach to negotiations.
And, in divorce, the spouse who applies for the split is called a petitioner – their costs are usually higher than the other party, the respondent.
However, if adultery is proven the petitioner can claim for costs against the respondent – but this isn’t guaranteed.
How long does divorce take from start to finish?
According to Citizens Advice, a divorce can take between four to six months – if both parties agree on the split and the reasons why.
But, if there is any disagreement, it could take much longer – possibly years.
This could be because of issues such as money, childcare and living situations.