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How much does divorce cost?

The fee for filing a divorce application is currently £550 in England and Wales. This fee is the same if you want to apply for a dissolution of a civil partnership. The fees and process are different if you’re filing for divorce in Scotland or Northern Ireland.

The £550 fee applies whether you apply for a divorce online or by post.

Who has to pay divorce fees?

The person who is initiating the divorce (also known as the applicant or the ‘petitioner’) is responsible for paying the application fee.

However, there is a box on the form you can check if you think your partner should pay the fee instead. This is a matter that the court will consider and decide on. If it finds in your favour, you’ll pay the fee upfront and your partner will be required to pay you back once the divorce is finalised.
You may also be able to get help with divorce fees if you have a low income, are on benefits or little/no savings.  

Extra costs to consider

Your divorce may turn out to be straightforward, where you both agree to the divorce and only need to pay the divorce application fee. But in most cases, additional fees are involved. Here are just a few examples:

•    Application for a consent order – £100. This is a document that makes agreed financial arrangements legally binding.
•    Application for a financial order - It is important to note that everyone should obtain a financial order as even if there is an agreement about how to split things, until such agreements are made official in a financial order, either party could make future claims.Costs for a financial order can vary dramatically depending on the complexity of the case and also the behaviour of the parties.
•    A copy of your marriage certificate - £11. This will be needed in order to apply for a divorce, so if you can’t find the original you’ll need to pay for a copy.
•    Mediation – approx. £100 an hour. If you and your ex are having trouble reaching an agreement, a professional mediator can help. They can guide you through resolving issues, making compromises and reaching decisions so that the divorce can move forward.

This is probably the most important part of a divorce and unfortunately people don't understand that the divorce petition does not deal with it, as to

You should also factor in the cost of getting reliable legal advice from a trained divorce solicitor. It’s not mandatory to have one, but it can be invaluable to have an expert on your team.

A divorce lawyer can draw up and check legal documents, help you to negotiate a fair financial settlement (potentially saving you thousands) and help you make the right decisions throughout the process. They can also liaise and communicate with your partner and their legal team on your behalf, helping you to avoid arguments and unnecessary animosity.

Your divorce solicitor will also be an indispensable source of advice, information and support during what for most people, is a completely new and bewildering legal process.

If you need help with separation, get in touch with Wirral divorce solicitor Tracey Miller Family Law to arrange a friendly, no obligation consultation.