Using a divorce solicitor
No matter how amicable your divorce is, it is helpful and sensible to seek legal advice from a family law solicitor. They will inform you of your rights and talk you through your options.
The cost of your fees to resolve the finances will depend on how much work needs to be done and the complexity of your assets/circumstances. You and your ex-partner might need to consider:
- How to divide your finances
- What happens to any property
- Care arrangements for your children
- Child support payments
- Division of pensions
Solicitors can charge by the hour or offer a fixed fee. You can agree with your solicitor in advance to cap the fees or the amount of work they do.
You are more likely to be charged an hourly rate if financial matters need to be resolved and it is unclear how long this process will take.
Hourly rates are affected by two things:
- The solicitor’s experience
- The law firm’s location
Generally, the higher an area’s property prices are, the more the law firm is likely to charge.
|Level of experience
||Average hourly rate (UK)
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Many solicitors (including Manak) offer a fixed-fee arrangement for uncontested divorces. Manak Solicitors charge a fixed fee, which can be broken down as follows:
- Our fixed fee £700.00
- VAT £140.00
- Court fee £550.00
If you file for divorce based on your ex-partner’s adultery or unreasonable behaviour, you can apply for an order that requires them to pay your legal costs.
The total costs for the respondent will vary depending on how the law firm calculates it. At Manak, we use our fixed fee arrangement as the basis for the payment.
If a divorce is contested then costs will be charged at the solicitor’s hourly rate.
A mediator’s job is to help you and your ex-partner have a constructive discussion about your divorce – normally about child custody arrangements or financial issues. Mediation is also mandatory before court proceedings can be issued.
The aim is for the two of you to come to an agreement, avoiding the cost of expensive court hearings. This agreement is then used to create a document called a Memorandum of Understanding, which is taken to your solicitor and used to draw up the necessary consent order.
A mediator will remain objective throughout the whole process. They will not tell you what to do – instead, they’ll help the two of you communicate effectively so you can make decisions.
The total costs depends on the number of sessions you need (three or four is the average number). Generally, mediators charge around £100 per session, although this can increase to £250 if they’re also a qualified lawyer. You should be informed of the cost estimate in your initial meeting, once the mediator has sight of your matter.
Manak Solicitors have close links with local mediators and will be able to refer you to suitable providers if you wish to undertake mediation.
If you cannot resolve financial issues, a court application may be required.
The court fee is £255. From the date of application, the costs are usually between £5,500 and £10,000, plus VAT and counsel’s fees if the the matter is settled at the negotiation hearing (as the majority of cases do). These costs can be reduced if there have been Form Es and offers made previously. The costs may increase if there are numerous or complex issues.
If your matter does not settle at the negotiation hearing, there will be further hearings before you progress to a full contested final hearing. These hearings will cost anywhere between £15,000 and £50,000, plus VAT. Manak Solicitors will provide tailored quotes if this happens, although only a minority of cases reach this stage.
Manak Solicitors ensure that their clients receive regular monthly invoices so you’re fully aware of the costs being incurred on your file.