Can’t afford a divorce? Here’s what we advise
Have you been considering a divorce only to find yourself put off by the cost? You’re not alone. Solicitors can charge upwards of £400 per hour and the courts require a fee of £550 – plus the costs of renting/buying a new place to live, furnishings and so on can all add up, too.
Whilst divorce can be expensive, there are a number of things that you can do to reduce the overall cost. Here are our top tips for reducing the cost of your divorce:
Negotiate your own settlement
Solicitors are expensive and determining how to divide your joint assets can be a long, cumbersome process. As solicitors charge per hour, instructing one to negotiate a divorce settlement on your behalf can result in costs escalating rapidly.
There is, however, no reason why you and your spouse cannot negotiate a settlement without involving solicitors. People tend to assume that using a solicitor when determining their divorce settlements is a sensible move and, as formulating a favourable agreement is a vital part of divorce, we can’t blame them. If you and your spouse are still on speaking terms and have a reasonably good relationship, however, there’s no reason why you cannot arrive at an agreement that meets the needs of both parties without involving costly solicitors.
Even in the event that you’re not quite able to agree matters between yourselves, you can utilise the services of a mediator who will help both you and your spouse negotiate a settlement whilst charging significantly less than a solicitor.
If both you and your spouse cannot arrive at an agreement that either of you deem suitable then it’s obviously in your best interests to spend the extra money on solicitors but, if you can divide your assets in a way that is reasonable and meets both of your needs, you’ll save a substantial amount of money.
Consider an online divorce
When both spouses consent to a divorce, they can save money by foregoing solicitors and instead using the services of an online divorce provider such as Quickie Divorce.
Having begun offering their services in the late nineties, online divorce services have grown in popularity. We, for example, assisted more than 22,500 people in 2017 and our clients can save up to several hundred pounds.
You could even file for a divorce without any assistance and make further savings but this often proves to be a false economy. A single error can result in you needing to amend and resubmit your documents with a fee in excess of £100 needed to be paid to the court each time this is required.
Worse yet, if you fail to obtain a Consent Order (commonly known as a Clean Break order) that formalises you and your spouse’s agreement, then they’ll retain a claim to a share of your assets (including any you accrue after your divorce) and could bring about legal proceedings at any time.
Check if you need to pay court fees
The need to pay the courts the not unsubstantial fee of £550 when filing for a divorce is something that many people are unaware of. More, however, are unaware of the fact that they may be able to have this fee reduced or even not need to pay it at all.
Generally, large discounts and full remissions are offered to those in receipt of certain benefits or low incomes but a surprisingly large number of people who don’t claim benefits and have reasonably high incomes find they’re entitled to relatively generous discounts, particularly those with dependent children.
So, don’t assume that you’re going to need to pay the full fee: click here to find out if you need to pay court fees for your divorce.