How Much Does a Divorce Cost In The UK in 2023?
Table Of Contents
- If you’re the person seeking a divorce (Applicant), a divorce is likely going to cost you between £700 – £1,000.
- A divorce cannot be contested by your partner even if they don’t agree to the divorce, which makes it simpler and more cost-effective for couples.
- If you know where your spouse lives this will help you keep costs down. You may require the support of a solicitor if you don’t know where your spouse lives, which adds to the cost.
- Divorce fees are expensive if you instruct a lawyer on an hourly rate basis. Look for fixed-fee options to reduce the overall cost of legal fees.
- The process of ending a civil partnership is the same as a divorce, except it’s called a dissolution.
A Breakdown Of Your Options for Getting Divorced
In England and Wales, nearly 40% of all marriages end in a divorce. Here is a breakdown of the typical costs of each option.
|Type||Additional Cost||More Information|
|DIY Divorce||£0|| |
|Online Divorce||£199|| |
|Solicitor||£450-900 (online service)|| |
|£900-2,000+ (solicitor)|| |
Typical Divorce Costs Explained
Here is a breakdown of the different options and the typical costs of each:
1. Solicitor’s Fees
Divorce lawyer’s fees usually vary on a case-by-case basis depending on how complicated your financial affairs are.
The typical hourly rate is between £126 – £255 depending on where you live in the country and the seniority of the solicitor. (Source)
Some solicitor firms offer fixed-fee options where costs are likely to be between £500 – £1,000.
The easiest way to avoid additional legal costs is to agree on all major issues such as child maintenance, childcare, and splitting any joint finances.
All in all, a typical divorce when you instruct a divorce solicitor is going to cost between £1,000 – £3,000 depending on the factors outlined above.
2. The cost of an Uncontested Divorce Online
The conditions to meet for a simple divorce are as follows:
- You have been married for at least 12 months
- You live in England or Wales or if you live abroad you see England or Wales as your permanent home (Domicile)
- You have an address for your ex-partner
If you meet these conditions, the ideal solution for you is an online divorce. You can get an online divorce for £199.
An uncontested divorce is the simplest way to get divorced and it’s also the cheapest.
There’s a reason why over 150,000 couples have used our service over the last 20+ years.
3. DIY Divorce
It’s true to say that a DIY divorce is going to be a cheaper way of ending your marriage.
But, does cheaper always mean better? No.
No-fault divorce is now a much simpler process, streamlined and made digital, but it’s still a legal process.
Most people don’t service or change their own boilers, they instruct professionals to ensure it has been carried out correctly – our service is much the same.
Sure, avoiding a large legal bill from solicitors is sensible, but this doesn’t have to mean going alone.
Doing your own divorce has many drawbacks, especially when it means not having professional legal advice on the implications of divorce.
What are the court fees for a divorce?
Regardless of how you decide to deal with your divorce, there are mandatory court-filing fees to pay that are currently £593.
This fee is mandatory unless you are eligible for help through a scheme called Fee Exemption. It will not be refunded once you are sent notice that your application has been issued.
Fee remission is available to you If you are on a low income or receive certain benefits such as income support, income-based jobseekers’ allowance, or employment and support allowance.
Use our court-fee remission calculator to see if you’re eligible for a fee remission.
For most people, legal aid for divorces ceased in 2013, though in some exceptional circumstances, you may be entitled to legal aid if there has been domestic abuse or domestic violence.
You are able to apply for legal aid to pay for a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM), although this too is means-tested.
Reaching a financial settlement
If you have reached a financial settlement then you require the assistance of a solicitor to help draft a financial consent order that is then approved by a court.
This will naturally add to the costs of divorce. Unlike a divorce, this is not something couples can do themselves.
The cost of the financial agreement will depend on the complexity of your agreement, but for argument’s sake, we are making the assumption that it’s fairly straightforward.
High-street solicitors firms offer fixed-fee packages starting from £1300 + VAT (£1,560). If your finances are more complex, expect to be charged upwards of £3,000.
Consider the difference in costs with our Managed Divorce & Consent Order Service for just £499 + £53 court fee = £552.
A saving of over £1000 for most couples in the UK. Couples in London could save closer to £2,500 on legal fees.
Tips to Reduce The Cost of Divorce
- Use family law solicitors for initial legal advice to understand your legal position but not for the processing of your application.
- Make every effort to find an address for your spouse if you don’t know where they live.
- Consider getting a divorce online to help reduce the legal fees.
In reality, 90% of divorce applicants don’t require the assistance of a solicitor to get a divorce.
Do you need to spend £1,000+ simply for a lawyer to draft the divorce papers and process them through the courts?
Unless your individual divorce case is complicated then the answer is likely to be no.
What other issues can affect the cost of divorce?
The main issue that can affect the cost of a divorce is not knowing where your spouse lives.
If you don’t have a current address for your spouse then you need to follow a ‘No Contact Divorce’ process, which unfortunately can have more costs associated with it.
If this scenario sounds like what you’re facing, read our article on getting divorced without an address for your spouse.
Start Your Divorce Today for £199
In most cases, it’s unnecessary to spend thousands on your divorce. If both parties agree to the divorce and you have reached an agreement on your money and assets then the process be stress-free and straightforward.