How to keep divorce costs down


Divorce will always be stressful, it will always be difficult, and it will always come at some financial, as well as emotional, cost. But if you have an experienced divorce solicitor on your side, you can at least understand the important legal issues, be in receipt of the advice and guidance you need, and, perhaps, you will be able to keep costs to a minimum so that you can come out the other side in the most positive way possible.

Here at Wellers, our divorce lawyers all share the same ethos: to make the divorce process clear, simple, as amicable as possible and to provide value for money. This is why we are committed to helping you understand from the outset how much your divorce is likely to cost.

Divorce costs

Wellers Law Group is committed to openness and transparency regarding divorce fees.

We offer a free half-hour divorce consultation as well as an initial reduced rate hourly consultation for £100 (plus VAT). We then offer hourly rates of between £200–£350 per hour (plus VAT). This hourly rate ensures our charges are based only on the level of attention your case receives. This individual approach contrasts with the inflexibility of a fixed fee service, which, although providing some level of reassurance regarding the potential total cost, may fail to adequately consider your individual needs and thereby reduce the overall level of service.

As we work with you on a divorce financial settlement, we make it a priority to provide regular monthly or bi-monthly bills. This can help you manage the costs as and when they arise. We also allow you to set a limit to your divorce and financial settlement fees, although you have the ability to later order us to exceed that limit.

Property and Financial Settlements on Divorce

For more information, Our Fees page offers a breakdown of the most common elements in divorce financial settlements and the associated fees.

Unfortunately we do not offer legal aid or advice regarding children where the local authority/children services are involved.

Costs depend on the complexity of your circumstances

It is difficult to predict just how much it will cost in legal fees in order to reach a property and financial settlement on divorce because the outcome will depend not only on the complexity of your circumstances and assets, but also on the legal advice given to you and the position of the other divorcing party.

If you can agree a settlement via negotiation, collaboration or mediation, then the costs and fees could be kept down. If you rent your home, do not have savings and have few material items of real value, you may be able to reach an agreement amicably and without the expense of lengthy legal assistance. There is little point instructing lawyers through the Consent Order process if it will cost more than the value of your marital assets.

The price will rise if there is a need to litigate, or your financial circumstances are particularly complex, such as dealing with business interests and splitting multiple property assets.

See our flow chart below which outlines the process of divorce settlements through the court – understading the factors and issues that will be taken into consideration can help you be clear about how a divorce will proceed

Keeping the financial cost down

At the outset, it is important that you have some understanding of the the value of your assets and debts. You must be sure to be full and frank in your disclosure of your assets as this will save you unnecessary time and expense while also being seen as positive by the courts, should it come to that stage (judges do not look kindly on parties who are not readily transparent in this regard and a minimum level of disclosure will be required before they can finalise an order).

Realism is perhaps the most important stance you can employ to keep divorce costs down. Being overly-demanding or withholding is only likely to increase the duration and contention of proceedings while inevitably adding to costs. As such, you should be honest and realistic with yourself, as well as with your divorce lawyer, about what you need and expect; any other approach is likely to prove counterproductive and costly and it is essential that you work openly and clearly with your divorce solicitor from the earliest stage so as to avoid unnecessary confusion or contention.

If you are looking for a figure to tell you how much divorce will cost, it may be useful to know that The Money Advice Service reports the average cost of a divorce in the UK is £14,561*.

Keeping the emotional cost down

Sadly, there is no easy way to negotiate the ending of a marriage when it comes to your feelings, especially when the marriage involves children and/or a significant amount of time. Our best piece of advice for those who are finding the emotional toll of divorce to be high, is to seek the help of friends, family and (when necessary) professional councillors. While our divorce lawyers our completely sensitive to the difficulties of divorce, we are here to help you separate your life from that of your former spouse and we will do this to the best of our ability at all times.

Keeping emotions out of the legal side of divorce and financial settlement, as best you can, will ultimately help keep the monetary cost down.

Contact Wellers today

Although we cannot tell you precisely how much divorce will cost, the divorce lawyers at Wellers can provide you with a property and financial settlement divorce service that is tailored to provide as little or as much legal assistance as you need. Whether you are able to reach agreement with your ex-spouse independently or via mediation or you will require recourse to the Courts, we can help.

Contact us today for more information.

*06 September 2018 How much does a divorce cost?

 

Divorce Finances Through the Court

 

Financial disclosure

  • There should be full and frank financial disclosure with documents in support and often completed in the style of Form E

 

Procedure

For cases that proceed in Court, there are three types of hearing:

  • First Directions Hearing (FDA)
  • Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR)
  • Final Hearing.

At any stage an agreement can be reached and a Consent Order prepared to record the terms of the settlement. The timescale is commonly 6 to 12 months (and on occasions 18 months)

 

Issues

The parties or Court may need to consider the following:

  • The need for valuation evidence (e.g. for a property, business and so on)
  • The need for any additional expert evidence (e.g. pensions, business valuations and so on)
  • Any outstanding issues of financial disclosure.

 

Factors that are taken into account

  • The first consideration is given to the welfare of any minor child
  • Income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources
  • The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities
  • The standard of living
  • The age of each party and the duration of the marriage
  • Any physical or mental disability
  • The contribution of the parties and any relevant conduct.

 

Financial orders

When weighing up the relevant factors, the Court can award a financial settlement based on:

  • A lump sum of money
  • An order for sale of a property or transferring rights in it
  • Maintenance
  • Pensions
  • There is no presumption of a 50/50 division and each case needs to be looked at on its own facts.