Cost Of Divorce: Frequently Asked Questions29th Jan 2018
Q: Who Pays The Legal Fees In A Divorce?
In the first instance, the petitioner (the person applying for a divorce) is considered responsible for paying all the legal fees including:
- their costs
- the court fees
- VAT (where applicable).
But that is not the full story...
The petitioner may apply to the court for costs if they believe that the respondent is to blame and has behaved unreasonably. However, there is no guarantee that – even if ordered – those costs will ultimately be recovered.
We always encourage petitioners and respondents to think about finding ways to share the legal fees fairly. It goes a long way to making the divorce more amicable, less stressful, faster, easier and therefore cheaper.
Q: Is There A Solicitor I Can Pay Monthly For A Divorce?
A: Not precisely as such, but we can offer you an arrangement which comes very close to helping you to achieve this.
Our divorce solicitors will ask you to make a payment on account to get the process started. After that you can make regular payments – monthly if you like.
But bear in mind that the balance in your account will always need to be enough to cover the next part of the divorce process.
Q: Can You Instruct A Solicitor Then Pay When You Get Your Money From The Divorce?
A: Family solicitors do not, as a rule, operate on the basis that legal costs can be paid at the end of a divorce.
The reason for this is that getting divorced – legally ending your marriage – and resolving your finances are two completely different processes. They may feel like one and the same but in a legal context they are not.
However, we can help to make it easier for you to pay for your divorce by splitting your bill into three instalments.
As far as resolving the matrimonial finances is concerned, the associated legal costs can be paid in appropriate instalments to fit your budget. In some instances litigation funding (a loan) may be available, paid at the end of your case when you receive your share of the assets.
Find out more here about how much it costs to get divorced.
Q: Will Divorce Ruin Me Financially?
Getting divorced will inevitably mean a change to your financial circumstances. Both sides will have to compromise when dividing up the family assets.
You will have to make adjustments to your lifestyle – especially if you have to pay maintenance to support your children.
But any financial settlement must be affordable. There is no point in a court ordering someone to pay what they cannot afford.
The law says that any final settlement must be equitable and fair. It should not mean a lifetime of austerity for one party while the other basks in luxury. Unfair settlements can later be challenged in court.
However, it is also important to note that any final divorce settlement should be precisely that – final – to prevent one party later coming back for more money if their former partner suddenly gains new wealth.
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