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An overview of the cost of divorce in UK

If you have been married for at least a year and your marriage has broken down permanently, you can terminate the marriage by filing for divorce. You must have a permanent home in Wales or England to terminate a marriage in the UK. Although many people fear divorce because they assume the cost of divorce is too high, the cost of a divorce is actually more modest than many people realise.

Court fees

The first set of costs in a divorce is court fees. If the divorce is not contested, a fee of about £340 is paid to a court to issue a divorce petition. An additional fee of about of £45 is payable to the court to obtain the decree absolute, a legal document that officially ends your marriage. An affidavit that costs about £7.50 is also required during the divorce court proceedings. The total court fees here amount to approximately £390.

Third party costs

If the person who receives the divorce petition (Respondent), contests or fails to respond to the divorce petition, additional third party costs may arise. You may have to seek the services of a bailiff, divorce lawyer or other professional to get the response required for a divorce from the Respondent, thereby incur additional court and or legal fees. In most cases, third party costs average a total of about £350.

Solicitors charges

After all third party and court fees have been accounted, you have to consider solicitors charges. Solicitors help you on issues with children, settlements and firm quotes on the cost of divorce. Solicitor charges vary from one professional to another. Generally, these charges range in the region of £400 inclusive of VAT. You are advised to search for a solicitor with the most attractive charges beforehand.

Reducing court and solicitors fees

If you can arrange your own divorce with the Respondent, you may be able to avoid most of the cost of divorce. You must, however, be able to agree on the reasons for the divorce, how to split up any possessions and money and how to look after children from the marriage after the divorce.

If you can agree on these basic things, you don’t need to go to court for a hearing or involve solicitors. The divorce paperwork in the case of an amicable agreement between the divorcing parties is fairly straightforward.

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