Divorce & separation
The Law on Divorce:
The term “Divorce” relates to the mechanism used by spouses to terminate their marriage and the legislation regarding divorce proceedings can be founded within the Matrimonial Causes Act 1979.
Divorce proceedings are commenced by issuing a Petition for Divorce at the County Court and are finalised by the receipt of Decree Absolute which is the document that formally states that the marriage between the two spouses in question has been dissolved.
Fixed Fee Divorce
The fixed fee costs for a Petitioner (the person seeking to commence proceedings) in the Petition for Divorce is £650.00 plus VAT. This fee includes all work undertaken up to, and including, obtaining the Decree Absolute.
The fixed fee costs for a Respondent (the person whom the Petitioner wants to dissolve the marriage with) in the Petition for Divorce is £325.00 plus VAT. This fee includes all work undertaken up to, and including, your Spouse obtaining the Decree Absolute. It does not cover the fee for the Respondent making the Application for Decree Absolute.
The Court fees are payable in addition to the fixed fee and include;
Fee for Issuing the Petition for Divorce = £550.00
When are the costs payable?
Half of the fixed fee is payable at the initial meeting with us. For a Petitioner, the second half of the fixed fee is payable when the Petition for Divorce is lodged at Court and for a Respondent, when the Acknowledgement of Service is filed at Court. Any additional Court fees will be requested when necessary.
In some cases, the following additional fees may apply:
- A fee for obtaining a Marriage Certificate (if you do not have your original certificate) - £9.25
- Translation of foreign Marriage Certificate (quotation can be advised)
- A fee for instructing an Enquiry Agent if your Spouse does not return an Acknowledgement of Service form to the Court (quotation can be advised)
This is not a definitive list and further details will be provided should you wish to proceed.
What work is not included?
If a matter becomes more complex, namely, if a Spouse defends the Petition for Divorce or lodges a Cross Petition for Divorce, costs will be discussed further at this stage.
Alternatively, if a Spouse does not file an Acknowledgment of Service and personal service of the Petition for Divorce is required the cost of instructing a Process Server will be discussed further.
In cases where a Petition for Divorce needs to be amended after it has been issued by the Court then there will be an additional Court Fee of £90.00 plus a cost for the time spent amending the Petition for Divorce.
The Fixed Fee does not cover any advice or proceedings relating to property, finances, children, or a dissolution where any party lives abroad. However, an estimate of costs for this type of work can be given should it be required.
This is not a definitive list and further details will be provided if you wish to proceed.
What happens if the Divorce does not proceed?
A Divorce may not proceed for a number of reasons, most commonly where the parties decide to reconcile their relationship. If for any reason the Petition for Divorce does not proceed, then the charge will be calculated on an hourly rate basis up to the value of the Fixed Fee (currently this firm’s hourly rates are from £120.00 to £225.00 plus VAT).