Everything You Need to Know About Funding Your Divorce Costs

Divorce costs can be sky-high, but they don’t always have to be. Find out how to keep your divorce at a budget, right here… 

Divorces are hard enough as they are without having that extra financial burden to make things that bit more complicated. Not only do you have to think about paying a divorce solicitor for their services, your divorce will also include financial arrangements for you, your spouse, and your children.

The sad truth is that around 42 percent of marriages now end in divorce. So, it’s no surprise that people are becoming more and more interested in how much this will cost them. From filling out a Form E for Financial Orders to forking over child support, let’s just say that your divorce may cost you a lot of money. 

Here, we’re going to lay out these potential costs for you, so you can better prepare yourself for what’s to come. We’ll also provide you with some tips on the best ways to avoid this hefty fallout.

What Does the Average UK Divorce Cost?

The cost of a divorce depends on a lot of different variables, including whether you petitioned the divorce or not, and even whereabouts in the UK you live! Usually the person petitioning the divorce will pay around £1,300 as a base rate for court fees and solicitation. The person being faced with this petition will usually pay around £100 plus VAT if they agree the marriage has broken down.

In all divorces, a financial court order is paramount for any of it to be legally binding. So, even if you part ways with your spouse in every other way, you will still be financially tied to one another by law. This means that the minimum cost of your divorce will usually be around £1,500, and these fees will include:

  • Court fees: usually £550, which covers the court service and divorce processing, and is paid by the petitioner; the person who files for the divorce.
  • Solicitor: an hourly rate of around £100 to £300 or more for guidance throughout.
  • Financial order: this normally costs between £500 and £1,500, and determines where assets fall, as well as the sort of support children may receive. This price might increase if it’s a complicated case, and you may end up paying an hourly rate for it.

Looks pretty harmless right? That’ll only cost you a few thousand pounds… right?

As we’ve mentioned, it really depends on your situation. In actual fact, most divorces end up ranging between £3,000 to £25,000 when we take into account all the different situations and variables involved. In fact, according to a study by Aviva Family Finance, the average figure for a UK divorce is actually £14,500… not so harmless after all.

Financial Orders and Agreements

One big expense, which is really important when you’re going through a divorce, will be your financial order. This is where the court helps you to arrange any financial matters, including where your money goes, and any child support that may be necessary. As mentioned, without this, you will be tied to each other financially, so this is a compulsory element of proceedings.

In order to complete your financial order, you and your spouse will have to fill in a document called Form E. This encourages an honest and consistent financial settlement discussion, as it ensures each party is disclosing all of their financial details appropriately.

This form may also need to be filled in and signed even if you want to solve any financial matters outside of court. Because of how complicated these forms can be, getting the help of a solicitor may be necessary, so this is another expense to bear in mind.

As we’ve seen, this normally costs between £500 and £1,500, depending on how complicated your situation is. If it ends up taking longer, this could get really expensive, considering the hourly rate you may end up paying your solicitor.

How do People Afford Divorces?

Naturally, not everyone will be able to afford a divorce, as it can cost thousands of pounds. Most people don’t just have this sort of money lying around, especially those in lower income households. So, some alternatives to help afford all this could include:

Legal Aid

Legal aid can be used to help subsidise the fees, but it’s now become pretty hard to come by. Now, you can only really apply for it if you want a divorce based on domestic or financial abuse. What’s more, it’s restricted to those who are regarded as in poverty, with £649 or less a month in disposable income and owning £8,000 or less in capital.

Do a DIY Divorce

Some people may choose to save money by performing a DIY divorce. In these situations, you still need to pay the court fees of £550, as well as your financial order. Without this, your divorce will not be legally recognised, and you might not get the funding you need to look after yourself and your children post-divorce.

In these divorces, you won’t require a solicitor to help you fill out any paperwork, like your Form E, or to guide you through it all. Because of this, it’s only really an option if you know the proceedings are mutually agreed, uncomplicated, and will be amicable. What’s more, if you’re open to taking the time to do all the legal research yourself, this is an option for you.

Look into an Online Divorce Service

Because of the huge costs that solicitors can incur, some people choose to use an online divorce service. This will usually cost between £50 and £80, and will also require the court fees too. Then, you will pay for a financial order of around £100 to £250, but the online service will do most of the processing for you.

Borrow from Loved Ones

Finally, some people may decide that, although the cost of a divorce is too expensive to afford in bulk, it’s definitely manageable to pay off over time. If this is the case, then perhaps you could borrow the money off of a family member or friend.

This way, you can be sure that your divorce can go ahead properly and legally, and you can get the best out of the proceedings. Then, you can pay your loved one back over time, knowing that your life is set up the way you want for the future.

4 Fabulous Tips on Splitting Without Huge Divorce Costs

As we’ve seen, there are ways that people use to afford divorces more easily. However, it’s really down to your own situation, and how you and your spouse approach the divorce proceedings. Some of the best ways to approach the situation to ensure you can spend the least money possible include:

1. Look into a No-Fault Divorce

No fault divorces will potentially come into play over the next year or so. These don’t require either party to be at fault, meaning that an amicable split is much more likely.

Because of this lack of blame, the divorce proceedings won’t rely on you to battle it out head-to-head. Instead, you can simply accept this is happening, and attempt to move on as quickly as possible. Then, you’re much less likely to fall into financial trouble afterwards.

2. Try to Understand Your Spouse’s Point of View

Many divorces are caused by adultery, abuse, or just falling out of love, so it’s important to bear this in mind when your spouse asks for a divorce. Of course, it may break your heart, and it’s not going to be easy. But, the more openminded you can be to their struggles and opinions, the better prepared you will be to explore all options with minimal difficulty.

If you go into the divorce with this mentality, you’re much more likely to leave the marriage behind you without too much difficulty. Not only will your financial agreement be amicable and timely, costing you less money on solicitors and the like, you may even end up remaining friends afterwards.

3. Communicate

Similarly, it’s important to continually communicate throughout your relationship, and throughout your divorce too. This way, you can always be on the same page, and understand one another’s thought process. So, when the time comes to discuss financial proceedings, you can do so quickly, succinctly, and without too much hassle.

4. Put Your Children First

With children in the picture, it can become easy for a blame game to commence, where each of you pits the other against each other. Turning your child or children against your spouse may certainly feel satisfying at the time. However, if you put your child first, is this what’s best for them?

If you constantly keep this in mind as you go throughout the divorce process, you’ll be much less likely to fall into a horrendous divorce. This may mean it’s much more amicable, so the proceedings are short and sweet, and you can walk away with as much of your money intact as possible.

A Divorce Doesn’t Have to Cost the World…

As you can see, going through a divorce will incur unavoidable costs. Without spending money on the court fees and financial order, your divorce won’t be recognised by the court, and you may end up worse off financially. So, being wise with where you spend the money, and attempting to remain amicable throughout, are the main ways to keep costs down.

If you think you have any more tips to add, feel free to comment down below. Let’s share our divorce stories, and hopefully save one another some money along the way!

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