Ian Butterworth
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Date Published:27 Jul 2017 Last Updated:10 Apr 2021

Divorce – Who Pays The Fees?

Family Law

Divorce: Who Pays the Fees?

The unwritten starting point in divorce proceedings is that the person at fault for the breakdown of the marriage should pay the other party’s costs. This includes the Court fee (presently £550). It also includes any Solicitors fees which have been incurred in connection with the divorce. Before you apply for a divorce on this basis, however, a number of practical considerations need to be taken into account.

Starting the Divorce Proceedings

The Court will not make a costs order until it is satisfied that you are entitled to a divorce. This is called the Decree Nisi stage. It is therefore highly likely that you will need to pay the Court fee (currently £550) in the first instance and then seek to recover this from your husband/wife later on within the divorce proceedings. You will also probably need to make a payment on account of your Solicitors fees.

Securing a Quick and Amicable Divorce

You may find that your husband/wife is reluctant to accept that they were at fault for your divorce, especially if it will mean that they will be responsible for your costs. In turn, this could slow down the divorce proceedings and increase the costs that you will need to pay in the first instance. Quite often the most sensible and pragmatic way forward is therefore offer to share the costs of the divorce provided the other party cooperates.

Resolving the Financial Aspects of your Divorce

The unwritten starting point referred to above only applies to the divorce proceedings. It does not apply to the financial aspects of your separation. The starting point in financial proceedings is that each party pays their own costs. You will therefore need to consider how best to fund the costs of settling the financial aspects of your divorce.

Our experts have written many blogs around the area of divorce that you may find useful, Ian Butterworth has written around; who gets the house during divorce, when one party refuses divorce and same-sex divorce.

Should you require any advice or assistance with your divorce or with regard to your financial position following your separation, please do not hesitate to contact Ian Butterworth on ian.butterworth@ellisjones.co.uk or through this firm’s Family Department on 01202 636223.