How Much Does a Divorce Cost?

The costs associated with divorce fall into two categories. Firstly, there are the mandatory court-filing fees that from September 30th 2021 cost £593 in England and Wales. These court costs also cover your decree absolute application.

Court fees are paid by the petitioner (the spouse filing for divorce – the spouse who receives the divorce petition is the respondent).

The divorce fee is payable whether you personally apply for a DIY divorce online or instruct a solicitor. They will not be refunded once you are sent notice that your application has been issued.

Secondly, there is the cost of legal fees associated with instructing a divorce solicitor. There is no conclusive answer to how much a family law firm could charge. It’s costed on an individual basis and will depend on whether they charge on a fixed fee basis or by hourly rate.

It is estimated that divorce solicitors costs average of £2,679 per spouse and couples with children can expect legal fees to be more expensive.

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    How Much Does It Cost to End a Civil Partnership?

    In England & Wales the mandatory court-filing fees to end a civil partnership cost £593 to file the dissolution application. This is the same cost that applies when filling for a divorce and these too are non-refundable once you are sent notice that your application has been issued.

    You can only apply to end or dissolve your civil partnership if you have been in the partnership for a year or more. However, you can apply for a legal separation if you break up during the first year of your civil partnership.

    Divorce-Online provide a low cost fixed-fee Civil Partnership Dissolution Service. We manage the whole process for you from start to finish, including all communication with the courts. You can track the progress online anytime and you only need to complete a simple application form to get started.

    How Much Does a Divorce Cost?

    Do you really need to spend £1500 + court fees (£593) for a lawyer to draft the divorce papers and process them through the courts?

    Cost of Divorce UK

    So how much does divorce really cost? As we highlighted above, the cost of divorce in the UK falls into two categories and each is covered in more detail below.

    Divorce Court Fees

    The court-filing cost of £593 in England and Wales is mandatory, unless you are eligible for help through a scheme called Fee Exemption.

    The cost of your divorce can be reduced If you meet the criteria for fee exemption. For example, if you are on low income or receive certain benefits such as income support, income-based jobseekers’ allowance or employment and support allowance.

    If you think you may meet the criteria for fee exemption it is advisable to check the Fee Remission Rules before applying for divorce, as this could dramatically reduce the cost.

    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. We advise you to look online at to find out if you could be eligible for legal aid.

    Divorce Solicitors Costs

    As previously mentioned, divorce solicitors costs usually vary on a case-by-case basis depending on how complicated your financial affairs are. The factors that will dictate your divorce cost is whether both parties have come to an agreement or not. In other words, will it be a contested divorce or an uncontested divorce?

    If you and your ex-partner can both agree on major issues like child maintenance, custody of children, the family home & finances you can apply for an uncontested divorce. This will help keep the cost of divorce proceedings lower by avoiding additional costs.

    Nevertheless, divorce is known for being expensive. A recent survey by Aviva found that the average legal cost associated with divorce has dramatically increased in the last three years and now stands at £2,679 per spouse.

    But we believe divorce costs don’t have to break the bank, especially when there is an agreement between parties.

    How to Save Over £1000 on the Cost of Your Divorce

    You may be reading the heading thinking, can I really save that much money on solicitor’s fees? The honest answer is yes, you really can and we’ll explain how in more detail in The Seven Steps of the Divorce Process.

    But for now, if you are considering a divorce then it’s likely that your first step will be to receive quotes from your local high-street solicitors. If you do this, and we recommend that you do, because we are confident it will highlight the amount of money our online divorce services will save for you.

    In reality, 90% of divorce applicants don’t require the assistance of a solicitor to get a divorce. Though it’s always wise to receive initial legal advice to ensure you fully understand your legal position.

    But, do you really need to spend £1,500 + court fees (£593) 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 you don’t.

    Is there a cheaper way to get divorce?

    Yes undoubtedly, using our online divorce service to obtain a divorce is simply the easiest and cheapest way to save money, at a time when you probably need it most. Since 1999 over 150,000 couples have trusted Divorce-Online and our services to get a quick and easy divorce, so give us a try and you will save money too.

    How to get a divorce online

    Our family law experts have put together a guide on applying for divorce online. In the guide we dispel some common myths and give you practical tips on getting started so its well worth a read.

    The Difference in Costs Between Online Divorce & Solicitors

    When deciding how to proceed with a divorce, the cost is usually one of the main factors, alongside how quickly the divorce can be dealt with.

    The average cost of a divorce application that is handled by high-street solicitors in England and Wales is £1079 + court fees (£593) = £1672 Total

    In comparison, the average cost of Divorce-Online through our Managed Divorce Service is £199 + court fees (£593) = £792 Total

    That’s a massive saving of £880 and remember, the solicitors costs above just covers the divorce application only. The average cost of solicitor’s fees is more likely to be in the region of  £2,679 per spouse when additional costs are included.

    “The cost is brilliant compared to what you would pay a private solicitor”

    Getting a divorce online is an efficient and more affordable way to end your marriage compared with hiring local solicitors.

    Read some of our reviews from satisfied clients who all saved hundreds on the cost of their divorce.


    I was a little bit dubious at first using an online divorce service…

    “I was a little bit dubious at first about using an online service, but I should not have been worried at all. Everything was explained clearly every step of the way and I was always kept up to date with the process. The whole thing was completed in about 6 months and a lot cheaper than a solicitor!


    Just a very quick and easy process…

    “Just a very quick and easy process and way more affordable than using a solicitor. I think this works best when both sides are being respectful and on the same page”.


    They did all the hard work. Value for money…

    “They did all the hard work. value for money. Easy, they did all the hard work like the major official forms. Brilliant and regular updates. It would have cost a lot more using a solicitor“.

    How Long Does a Divorce Take?

    How long does a divorce take is typically the first question people ask when considering filing for a divorce.

    Well, put simply, the national average timescale for a divorce in England and Wales is around 32 weeks. This figure is based on the latest statistics released by the Government.

    That seems like an awfully long time, doesn’t it? If you happen to want a quicker divorce that is likely to cost you far less money, then view our services below and find out how we can help you end your marriage swiftly, but without any stress.

    Reaching a financial settlement

    If you have reached a divorce settlement then you require the assistance of a solicitor to help draft the financial consent order for you.

    This will naturally add to the costs of divorce, but this is where getting an online divorce becomes more beneficial, not only to your experience of obtaining a divorce but also to your wallet.

    If you look at most solicitors firms’ websites, they only offer fixed-fee services for divorce applications.

    These fixed-price services do not cover financial agreements. So, let’s look again at the cost of divorce when using a solicitors firm to handle your divorce and a financial order agreement.

    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.

    You can find high-street lawyers offering consent order services from £450+VAT (£540 total), however on top of this is a mandatory court fee of £50, which brings the divorce bill to £2,262 (including the divorce application cost)

    You may find the odd solicitors firm offering a fixed-price service that covers both the divorce and financial settlement, but they are few and we can assure you that they will be considerably more expensive than our Managed Divorce & Consent Order Service for £399.

    What is a Separation Agreement and Why Have One?

    Separation agreements can be used as a precursor to divorce or as an alternative if you aren’t ready to start proceedings just yet.

    During your marriage many things are shared. Not just the family home or car, but savings accounts, financial responsibilities, household bills, mortgage or rent, child maintenance and even debt. For this reason, many people elect to put their financial settlement into a legal agreement before they divorce.

    A Separation Agreement (also known as a Deed of Separation), is a legal contract that records from the start who is to have what and what both parties’ responsibilities are. It can also help avoid the need for a court hearing at a later stage during the divorce procedure.

    If you think this pre-emptive approach to divorce would be of benefit we can draft your separation agreement, ready for you to approve and sign, with detailed instructions and advice for just £599 fixed fee.

    What Can Effect The Cost of Divorce?

    There are two main things that can affect the cost of a divorce.

    Firstly, if you don’t know where your spouse lives then you need to follow an adapted divorce process, which has more costs associated with it.

    Secondly, if one party is dragging their heels in then you may be required to instruct solicitors to act for you. Needless to say, this would have financial implications.

    If you are able to come to an agreement with your spouse and you have an address where the divorce papers can be sent to then you can achieve an affordable divorce.

    Questions About Divorce Costs?

    Speak with our friendly divorce experts to get a free estimate on the cost of your divorce and our services.

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