We recommend you approach the financial aspect of your case on the basis that you and your spouse will each meet your own costs.
In terms of negotiating a financial settlement, it is more difficult to be precise about costs. However, a solicitor should always provide you with a cost estimate before embarking down this route.
You and your ex-partner might agree on how to divide your assets, but this agreement is not legally binding unless a court approves a consent order.
If the assets in the case are minimal, or the parties have already decided who gets what, then it may just be a case of getting a solicitor to draw up a clean break consent order to prevent either party from claiming against the other in the future.
The document still needs to be prepared carefully and approved by the court. Legal fees could range from £1250 to £2500 to get this completed.
You can read more about consent orders here:
However, if there is a dispute, achieving a financial settlement could require considerable work.
It is likely you will need to go through a disclosure exercise to establish what assets each party has to achieve a fair settlement. Depending on the assets’ complexity, this may be a complicated process or relatively straightforward.
Read more about financial disclosure in divorce.
Often, the more complex the family finances, the greater the costs to reach a settlement.
It may be necessary to obtain independent expert advice concerning the value of a property, business interests, pensions or other assets which will have cost implications.
The usual arrangement is each party meets one half of the fee payable to an expert. Most cases are resolved by negotiation — generally via solicitors — once mutual financial disclosure has taken place.
Read more about companies and divorce.
Once a comprehensive settlement is reached, this may be set out in a draft Consent Order and sent to the court for approval.
Ultimately if no agreement can be reached, then the court will need to decide who gets what. If a case goes all the way to a final hearing, which is very rare, it would not be unusual for legal fees to be over £20,000.
Therefore, it is important to always think about the cost-benefit analysis. There is little point in spending thousands of pounds fighting over something worth less than that.