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Read more articles in: Author, Blog, Family, Family Law, Stuart Daniel

Who pays the legal fees in a divorce?

Deciding to divorce is an emotional and challenging ordeal, and it often brings complex financial challenges into sharp focus.

A pressing concern for many is the issue of legal fees.

With the introduction of no-fault divorces in England and Wales, understanding these financial implications is more important than ever.

No-fault divorce

As of 6 April 2022, the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 amended the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and the Civil Partnership Act 2004 to remove fault-based concepts in proceedings for divorce and dissolution.

The new system is designed to minimise conflict and enable couples to conclude their marriage in a less adversarial manner.

With the no-fault divorce, contesting the divorce itself is no longer an option.

The only valid ground for dispute arises when there is a legal reason to do so. For instance, if you reside overseas, the courts in England and Wales may not have jurisdiction to handle your case.

How much does a divorce cost?

The divorce process carries a standard court fee of £593, plus any additional solicitor fees who assisted you during the divorce proceedings.

Independent legal advice should be sought separately by both you and your spouse or partner.

The total cost of divorce can fluctuate dramatically depending on the intricacies of the case and the extent to which legal experts are involved.

Who pays the legal fees?

The person applying for the divorce, known as the applicant, is responsible for covering the court fee.

In cases involving a joint application, a decision must be made as to who will assume the role of the first applicant, as this person will be responsible for the court fee.

Both the application and the respondent are usually responsible for their own legal fees, throughout the divorce proceedings.

If you are considering hiring a solicitor, you should be prepared to cover these costs personally.

However, couples can come to a mutual arrangement concerning the divorce expenses. In certain situations, they may opt to share the costs equally.

The arrangement can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the couple and their relationship post-separation.

Professional legal support is crucial

Determining who should pay for the legal fees can be emotionally fraught and complex.

Although there is no definitive rule, it is generally understood that each party bears the responsibility for their own legal costs.

Therefore, it is crucial for anyone navigating a divorce to seek specialised legal advice.

This ensures that all parties are fully aware of their rights and obligations, allowing for a smoother and fairer divorce process.

If you want to know more about our divorce or family law services, please get in touch with us today.

Stuart Daniel

Head of Family Department

I qualified as a Solicitor in 2006 and now specialise in divorce, financial settlements, childcare arrangements and Pre Nuptial Agreements. I have many years’ experience as a private family lawyer having worked with two other local firms before returning to Mander Hadley, where I first undertook work experience during my university studies.