There’s no doubt that getting a divorce can be painful, but the process itself doesn’t have to be. By using our Fixed Fee Divorce, you can be certain about what’s included in the price, with no hidden costs.
You will be fully represented throughout the divorce process and your Solicitor will deal with your former partner or their Solicitor and the Court. This takes the pressure off of you, so that you can take care of yourself and your family.
Divorce and Finances
There will be financial issues arising from every separation. We can also help you to sort out your finances alongside your divorce. You should be aware that just because you get a divorce, that doesn’t deal with the financial claims you have against one another. It’s really important to deal with your finances, so that you can move forward with confidence and certainty.
If you have agreed how to divide your finances, we can help turn any agreed terms into a Financial Order issued by the Court, to make sure you’re protected.
Why Choose Simpson Millar to Help You?
- We’re the Open Lawyers and we’re doing all we can to open up the law. Being clear and transparent about the divorce process and the fees involved is as important to us as it is to you
- Cost Certainty – you need to know exactly how much the divorce will cost so you can budget. Our Fixed Fee Divorce allows you to do that
- Expertly Guided – Our team of Family Law and Divorce Solicitors will make sure you understand the whole process from start to finish. We’ll be there with you every step of the way, using plain and easy to understand language
If you want to talk about payment options, the divorce process or would like to speak with someone about a Fixed Fee Divorce, call one of our experienced Divorce Solicitors today.
What is Included in the Fixed Fee Divorce?
When you get a Fixed Fee Divorce, here’s what’s included:
- Advice about the divorce process at each stage
- Completion of the divorce application and sending it to the Court
- Application for the Decree Nisi
- Application for the Decree Absolute
- Copies of all important documents, for safekeeping
What’s Not Included in the Fixed Fee Divorce?
- The Court fee, which is £550 (although in some cases, this can be reduced or avoided completely)
- If your former partner objects to the divorce or it becomes contested, also known as defended
- Representing you in Court (almost all divorce cases are dealt with on paper, meaning that going to Court is very unlikely)
- Disputes about who pays for the cost of the divorce
- Obtaining a copy of your original marriage certificate or translating it if you were married abroad.
- Any legal advice or work needed to resolve financial issues
- Any legal advice about arrangements for your children
Can I Get a Fixed Fee Divorce?
Yes you can, if:
- You and your partner both want a divorce and you’ve agreed who will take the lead; or
- Your partner agrees to a divorce after an initial letter from us; and
- You both live in the UK; and
- You’ve agreed who will pay the costs
We can, of course, deal with any disputes about who will pay the costs and help you agree a way forward, but the work will fall outside of the Fixed Fee.
Fixed Fee Consent Order
If you’ve been able to resolve your financial arrangements amicably, we can help you to finalise any financial terms with your former partner. We do this by preparing a Consent Order and lodging it with the Court to make sure it becomes a legally binding agreement between the two of you.
Whether or not a Fixed Fee Divorce is right for you will depend upon how quickly you’re able to reach an agreement and the level of complexity. In many cases, you can tell us what the agreed terms are, we will then write to your former partner asking them to confirm that they agree with what you have outlined to us, and if they do, we don’t need to negotiate on your behalf, leaving only the paperwork to sort out for you.
We can generally prepare the divorce papers within days, giving you peace of mind quickly and allowing you to focus on your day to day life and move forward.
Fixed Fee Consent Order – What’s Not Included
- Any negotiations with your former partner about the financial issues (other than an initial letter, as described above)
- Valuations of assets, although if there is a dispute about the value of assets, we can help
- Collating or analysis of financial disclosure and documents. This wouldn’t fall within our Fixed Fee Divorce package but we can help you with this as a separate and bespoke piece of work, should you need us to.
- Divorce Court fee currently costs £50 in England or Wales
What’s the Fixed Fee Divorce Process?
The Fixed Fee Divorce process itself is pretty straightforward. The steps are:
- Contact us to arrange your fixed fee divorce.
- We prepare the Divorce Petition for you and send it to the Court.
- The Court sends it to your ex-partner who needs to complete the Acknowledgment of Service to confirm they’ve seen the divorce papers. They should confirm that they won’t defend the divorce.
- We’ll prepare a written statement to the Court to confirm everything in the application is true and asking for the divorce to continue.
- A Judge will review the documents and as long as everything is correct they’ll issue a ‘certificate’ to confirm that the grounds for divorce have been proved. Everyone will get a copy of the certificate and a date for the pronouncement of the Decree Nisi will be set. You won’t need to go to Court for this.
- You can apply for the Decree Absolute, which finally ends your marriage, six weeks and a day after the Decree Nisi has been pronounced, but ideally you should make sure your finances are agreed before the Decree Absolute is applied for.
How Much Will a Fixed Fee Divorce and Fixed Fee Consent Order Cost?
The costs for a Fixed Fee Divorce are £600.
The Court Fee is £550, so the overall costs are £1,150.
To deal with your Consent Order it will cost £900. The Court Fee is £50, so the overall costs are £950.
It’s become more and more common for separating couples to agree to share these costs.
If you’re not sure if you can get a Fixed Fee Divorce or you want to discuss your situation with a specialist Divorce Solicitor before deciding how to proceed, an initial consultation with an expert Family Law and Divorce Solicitor costs £252.
All These Costs include VAT So the Price You See Here is the Price You Pay
Many other Divorce Lawyers charge hourly rates and quote their costs without VAT, but we think it’s important to be clear and transparent about our fees.
Anyone who works for the Police, Fire Service, Armed Forces or the NHS can get a 10% discount on all our Family Law and Divorce fees, including our Fixed Fees, as well as a free initial 30 minute telephone call with a Family Law and Divorce Lawyer.
Our Awards & Accreditations
Our National Family Law Award Winning Divorce Solicitors are accredited by the Law Society as Family Law specialists and have over 100 years of Family Law experience between them. Some of them are also trained by Resolution, an organisation dedicated to resolving family disputes amicably, in Collaborative Law.
This means we work with you to resolve divorce issues in a constructive way. This approach is there is try to get better outcomes for everyone involved in the divorce process.
For initial advice call 08002605010 or request a callback.
People We Have Helped with Divorce and Separation
Meet Some of our Family Law and Divorce Solicitors
- When Can I Get Divorced?
In England and Wales you can start divorce proceedings once you have been married for at least a year.
- What are the Grounds for Divorce?
There is one ground for divorce – your marriage has irretrievably broken down. You have to state one of five ‘facts’ in the divorce to prove the breakdown. The five facts are:
Adultery – your husband or wife had sex with someone of the opposite sex and you’ve not lived with it for more than 6 months
Unreasonable behaviour – your husband or wife has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with them.
Desertion – your husband or wife has left you for at least two years before you start your divorce.
Two years separation and you both agree to the divorce – if you both agree and you’ve been separated for at least two years, you can apply for a divorce.
Five years separation – you can apply for a divorce if you’ve been separated for five years, even if your husband or wife does not agree
- How Long Does Divorce Take?
In England and Wales, a divorce normally takes around six months. There are some more complicated circumstances which could result in the divorce taking longer.
- How Much Does Divorce Cost?
You will need to pay the Court fee if you are the one applying for the divorce. You’ll also have to pay any legal fees for legal advice about your divorce. It’s important to get legal advice from a specialist Divorce Solicitor so you know where you stand. We offer an Initial Fixed Fee Consultation to discuss your situation with you. We can give you all the options at this meeting so you know the facts before moving forward. Legal Aid is not available for divorce unless there has been domestic violence or child abduction but we don’t offer this service.
- My Husband and I Agree to the Divorce. Can You Represent us Both?
No we can’t as it is a conflict of interest. It’s important for you both to have independent legal advice and we’ll do all we can to make sure that our involvement does not affect your current agreement. We can make recommendations for their representation to help the process if necessary.
- Once I Start Divorce Proceedings, Can I Stop if I Change my Mind?
Yes you can, people do reconcile. However, if the divorce has already reached the Decree Nisi stage, your husband or wife could simply apply for the Decree Absolute, which means the divorce would be finalised. Generally speaking, you have more control if you started the process.
- Will I Need to go to Court at any Stage?
Probably not as most divorces are dealt with by the Court on paper. If your divorce is defended, you may need to go to Court but this is rare.
- How Do I Start Divorce Proceedings?
You’ll need to make a divorce application and send it to the Court with your original marriage certificate and the Court fee.
- What Happens if I’ve Lost my Marriage Certificate?
You can get a certified copy from the General Register Office (GRO) online, as long as you were married at least 18 months ago. If not, you should apply to the Register Office local to where you were married. It will cost you around £11 to £15 currently and will take 15 working days.
- I Got Married Abroad. Can I get Divorced in the UK?
Yes you can as long as your marriage is recognised in England or Wales. You’ll need to prove that you were married abroad and you can do this with your original marriage certificate. If you have lost it, you may have to apply for another one from the country you were married in which could cause a delay. It’s best to check you have this document as part of your preparation for seeking legal advice for your divorce.
- My Spouse Probably won’t Cooperate. Will this Stop the Divorce?
The divorce documentation needs to be served on your spouse and the Court requires proof they received it. They do this by completing an “Acknowledgment of Service” form. If they don’t respond after the paperwork has been posted to them, our Divorce Solicitors can arrange for him/her to be served personally with the paperwork by an agent. There is an additional fee for this service.
- I Don’t know How to Contact my Spouse. Will this Stop the Divorce?
You’ll need to show to the Court that you’ve done all you can to trace your wife/husband. The Court may then rule that the divorce can go ahead without the paperwork being served on your spouse. We can tell you what steps you need to take to try to track down your spouse and you’ll need to swear on a statement that we draft for the Court. This will increase the cost of your divorce.
- Will Getting Divorced Sort Out all the Matrimonial Financial Arrangements?
No. You’ll need to deal with any financial issues separately. If you and your husband or wife can agree on how to deal with your financial matters, a solicitor can draft the agreement into a Consent Order which is filed at Court for approval. If you can’t agree, you can still get divorced but we strongly advise you to deal with your financial issues before the divorce is finalised. If the Court does not make an Order on financial matters as part of your divorce, then either of you could still make a claim against in the other in the future, even though you’re divorced.
- Will Getting Divorced Sort Out the Arrangements for Children?
No. Your divorce simply deals with dissolving your marriage. You’ll either need to come to an agreement with your husband or wife or let the Court decide. Applications will be made through the Family Court but you will need to attend a Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting, known as MIAM first. This is a requirement before going to Family Court but there are some exemptions.
- What is a Decree Nisi?
A Decree Nisi is made when the Court is satisfied that you have met the criteria to divorce. Nisi means ‘unless’ in Latin. That means your divorce is not finalised unless you apply for a Decree Absolute. Once a Decree Nisi has been issued, the Court can make Financial Orders but you won’t be divorced until your Decree Absolute is pronounced.
- What is a Decree Absolute?
A Decree Absolute is the final Order of the Court that will end your marriage. Once the Decree Absolute is issued, you can get married again. Do get legal advice before you remarry as this could impact you financially if you’ve not resolved your financial and property matters first. You may also want to consider a Prenuptial Agreement.
- When Should I Apply for the Decree Absolute?
Your Divorce Solicitor will tell you the when to apply for the Decree Absolute. If you applied for the divorce (the applicant), the first date you can apply for the Decree Absolute is six weeks and one day after the Decree Nisi has been made. However, it may be better for you to wait until all the property and financial issues have been resolved so you don’t jeopardise your financial position.
- A Decree Nisi has been Issued but my Spouse won’t Apply for the Decree Absolute. What Can I Do?
As the respondent to the divorce proceedings, you can apply for a Decree Absolute three months after the time the applicant could first apply. Practically, this means you can apply about four and a half months after the date of the Decree Nisi. This will require a statement justifying why you are applying to divorce as a Respondent and will increase your costs.
- Do I Need to Make a New Will after my Divorce?
The parts of your Will that relate to your ex-husband or ex-wife will be affected by your divorce. Anything you left to your ex-partner will be treated as if they died on the date of the Decree Absolute. Although your Will is not invalidated by your divorce, you should make a new Will as soon as possible to avoid your Will being ignored because your ex-partner is treated as having died on the day you divorced.
For initial advice call our Family Law & Divorce Solicitors
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Simpson Millar is a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Bristol, Cardiff, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London - Euston, London - Fleet Street, London - Teddington, Manchester and Southport.