As family law experts we offer tried and tested expert advice in areas such as domestic violence, wills and probates and children disputes. We’re extremely sensitive to the fact that legal issues such as these have an emotional impact as well as practical ramifications, and we do our best to combine our technical legal advice with the kind of support clients need. When it comes to divorce proceedings, we know from experience that much of the stress involved relates to the possible cost of the divorce. Whilst the financial settlement will vary from case to case, we always work to arrive at the least expensive solution possible, and this often means helping to broker an agreement without having to go to court. We also work in a totally transparent and accountable manner, and that means explaining the solicitor’s fees for divorce from the outset.
We operate a system of fixed costs, which removes a lot of the stress and anxiety often linked to solicitor’s fees for divorce. Under the fixed fee system, clients can instruct us to engage in a certain activity on their behalf with complete certainty how much that activity will cost, with a price which includes VAT. As a divorce proceeds, and if the case shifts and becomes more complicated, there may well be additional fixed fees to deal with the new circumstances. All of this is in addition to any court fees which might be charged, and we will work closely with each client to ensure that they are fully aware exactly how much the process is costing them at each stage.
We offer an initial appraisal over the phone or face to face which lasts for 20 minutes and is provided free of charge. This is where we’ll establish whether we can help you and if you’re eligible for legal aid. A first advice meeting of up to an hour costs £60, with additional charges for further meetings. These charges apply to all clients who come to us, however, and we have a set of specific solicitor’s fees for divorce.
Our fixed fee divorce petition scheme covers divorces or dissolutions of civil partnerships which are undefended. This means that both partners in the relationship agree to the process taking place. The process runs from an initial visit to our office all the way through to the Decree Absolute, which is the point at which a divorce becomes official and final. Following that initial 45 minute appraisal, during which you will explain exactly how you wish to proceed with the divorce, the fixed fee scheme covers the following:
- Preparing the divorce petition and the statement which covers any arrangements to be made for children, as well as preparing supporting documents.
- Sending these documents to you and making any changes requested.
- Sending them to your spouse or partner as well and informing you of any response, before making any changes which might be necessary.
- Lodging the divorce petition with the court.
- Receiving your spouse or partners acknowledgement of the petition, preparing a Special Procedure Application, sending it to you and, once you’ve returned it, lodging it with the court.
- Letting you know what date the Decree Nisi will be pronounced and, once you’ve provided written permission, apply for the Decree Absolute and forward it to you.
The fee for doing all of the above, which takes the divorce or dissolution process through to completion, is currently £360 including VAT. It should be noted that the fixed fee scheme does not cover divorces which don’t proceed by consent. There are also extra pieces of work which sometimes feature in divorce proceedings, such as obtaining a copy of the marriage certificate or arranging for a divorce petition to be personally served on a spouse or partner if they have ignored it. Each of these actions comes with an additional fee, and our solicitors will make sure that you’re fully aware how much your own case is costing at every step of the way.
In addition to our fees there are court costs which need to be paid to start a divorce, and these are currently set at £550. If you wish to instruct us to act for you in an uncontested divorce as outlined above, then you will have to attend for an initial meeting, to which you will need to bring your marriage certificate or certificate of civil partnership, the full names, addresses and dates of birth for you, your spouse or partner and any children and the fee outlined above.
If you’re still uncertain whether your divorce will be uncontested, or exactly what stage of the proceedings you are currently at, please contact us by emailing us at [email protected] or by calling 0161 429 7251. We’ll provide an initial 20 minute appraisal free of charge and we’ll use all of our experience and expertise to make sure that the stressful divorce process runs as smoothly as possible.