What Lies Ahead: 7 Factors That Determine the Cost of a Divorce

When you marry someone, you entwin your life with theirs. Financially, emotionally, and legally. If the marriage goes south, and you end up divorcing, that’s an additional financial strain. Divorce is much more complicated than television programs lead us to believe.

In the UK, the divorce process can take anywhere from six months to a year-and-a-half. The amount of time, effort, and money put into your divorce will depend on many factors. The average cost of a divorce is between £10,000 to £20,000.

Why Mondays Are the Most Popular Day to Divorce

The Boomtown Rats may not like Mondays, but divorce solicitors in the UK do. Mondays are the most popular day to file for divorce. Not just any Monday. The most common divorce date is the first Monday in January when businesses open after a long holiday break.

In fact, it’s colloquially known as “Divorce Day” in the UK. What causes couples to seek to end their marriage after the Christmas holiday?

Typically, it’s the same thing: Money stresses and too much family time.

7 Things That May Increase Divorce Costs

1. Divorce application fees. The spouse filing the divorce petition will have to pay a base fee, plus the court fee, and applicable taxes. Even if the divorce is amicable, the non-filing spouse will have some legal fees to pay, as well.

2. Experience of the solicitor. Your choice of lawyer – or solicitor – hired to handle the divorce will affect the overall cost. More experienced litigators will obviously cost more.

3. Whether an agreement is made during mediation. Divorce filings are sent to arbitration to hopefully work out a mutually-agreed upon settlement without going to court. Taking the case to court will increase the cost of the divorce.

4. Injunctions being filed during the proceedings. During the mediation or court process, an injunction to, for example, freeze shared bank accounts, may need to be filed. Such injunctions contribute to the total cost of the divorce.

5. Applications for any interim maintenance. Part of the divorce settlement is agreeing to how much monetary support each party will pay to the other, if any. If either spouse intends to file for interim maintenance monetary support, there will be an additional cost in the divorce process.

6. The fact (reason) for the divorce. If the divorce is mutually agreed upon, it will be smoother and cheaper. However, if adultery, unreasonable behavior, or one of the other ‘facts’ (reasons) for the divorce makes it contentious, it will cost more and drag out longer.

7. Application for the decree absolute. Petitioning for the divorce is just the first step in granting a divorce. Once the division of property and other details are settled upon, a ‘decree absolute’ must be filed. This paperwork is required to financially and legally end the marriage.

Divorce Has Emotional and Financial Tolls

Many couples put off divorcing because of the financial burden. However, staying in an unhappy marriage can cause a far greater emotional burden. Similarly, the process of a divorce will be emotional, regardless of whether it ends amicably or not.

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