Jan 31

Divorcing? How much will it cost?

Posted by gowenstevensadmin on Wednesday 31st January 2018

There is an interesting article from Thornton Springer http://www.thorntonspringer.co.uk/articles/cost-di... which suggests that (referencing an article by Aviva) the cost of a divorce is now over £14,500.

I think that the Aviva article adds to the confusing amount of literature available to clients who may be finding it difficult to think or analyse data because they are going through an emotionally turbulent time. If you dig down a little further, that figure is examined in the report by Aviva which says that the costs that they are describing includes the legal cost of divorce plus the cost of redecoration and an additional cost for a custody battle for a child. The headline figure is misleading and it does not actually show how much will you pay your lawyer. The truth is you may pay a lot less or you may pay a lot more.

Having said that, I would add that, it is sensible to consider (before contacting a lawyer), what the true costs of the divorce might be in terms of relocating and emotionally separating from someone who you may still have strong feelings for. Once you have made the decision that you need to move on then we are able to give you the support you need. Sadly, I appreciate that some people are suffering terrible abuse at the hands of their spouse so they may not be able to make such a considered decision.

The majority of our clients need help to organise the separation of the matrimonial finances or to organise the arrangements for the children but a client who is going through a divorce may also need to apply for an order to prevent their spouse contacting them or from entering the family home. As a result there can be a wide range in different fees depending on a client’s particular needs. A client who has received a divorce petition and who does not want to defend it would have much lower fees than someone who issued a divorce petition that became defended.

The costs of organising the financial settlement will depend on a number of factors, such as:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The age of the parties
  • Whether there are children and their ages
  • The parties’ earning capacities
  • Whether one party thinks the other is hiding assets
  • Whether one party thinks the other person has tried to put resources out of their reach e.g. putting it in another person’s name
  • The Parties’ mortgage capacities
  • The Parties’ housing needs
  • Whether there are any resources that may be considered non-matrimonial

When advising clients we always consider whether any proposals have been made to settle and whether the costs of rejecting the proposal would be disproportionately expensive. When considering the finances we may need to advise you to consider instructing other experts to assist such as:

  • Someone to identify the whereabouts of a spouse, or resources
  • An expert who can help the parties agree the value of resources
  • An expert who can advise how to divide a pension or number of pensions in order to produce an equal income stream for each spouse upon retirement
  • A barrister to represent you at a hearing or to provide a second opinion on a complicated legal problem

We understand that you will want to know to know what your costs will be from the outset as you will need to be able to understand what you will be left with once you start to rebuild your life. Because of the issues raised in this article it may be difficult for us to give you an accurate idea over the phone before we have an understanding of your particular requirements. It may be that you do not need to have any other experts and there may only be a limited amount of negotiation before you reach an agreement.

I would suggest booking an initial meeting with us so that we can work out what type of issues you are going to need help with. We can then give you some guidance on what to do and on how much it might cost you. We charge on a monthly basis but we can put you in touch with litigation lenders or advise you whether you would be able to make an application to the court for an Order that your spouse contribute toward your living costs until a financial agreement is settled.

Call us so that we can arrange a meeting with you in person. A specialist family lawyer can meet with you at our offices in Sutton or Cheam.


Aaron O'Malley

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