by Susan Paige
The average cost of a divorce in the UK is approximately £14,500. This is a combination of the standard £593 fee payable in order to apply for a divorce, court costs and of course legal advice and representation. Understanding no fault divorce could go some way to starting to reduce the associated costs to make the whole process both cheaper and less acrimonious, but there are other steps you can take too. We take a look at 6 of the easiest ways to protect your finances through the divorce process
- Choose a reputable family solicitor
It can be tempting to base your choice of legal representation purely on fees, however, it is much more cost effective to ensure that you are employing a reliable and reputable solicitor. Preferably one with good reviews and a track record of delivering a good deal for their clients. Obtaining the services of a knowledgeable, experienced solicitor will safeguard against unnecessarily lengthy, drawn-out divorces.
Mediation is a really good way of resolving issues relating to the breakdown of your marriage without unnecessary, protracted legal intervention. It is comparatively cheap compared to legal fees and agreements can be reached about many different aspects of the split including child care arrangements, division of assets etc and also lay the foundations for a more harmonious post-divorce relationship if it is necessary for co-parenting reasons.
- Cost sharing
If your relationship allows for it, have a discussion with your estranged spouse about sharing the costs of the divorce equally. This helps to ensure that neither party drags their feet and a speedy agreement and resolution is reached. It also gives an incentive to be more selective about which issues you should stick to your guns about and which you can let go of.
- Organise emotional support
Investing wisely in your emotional support will have financial benefits as well as improving your well-being. And it doesn’t have to be expensive, it could be as easy as having a few good friends or family members to offload on, however, if you are really struggling, you can always speak to your GP and/or self-refer to NHS counselling services. In the event that there is a lack of availability or delay, consider booking a private counsellor. Keeping your mental and emotional health in check will prove invaluable in reinforcing your ability to make informed decisions, rather than emotional ones.
- Organise your paperwork
Spend some time getting your administrative house in order, it will be really worth your while. It will mean that you can provide anything that your solicitor or the court requests in good time and speed up the process no end. Time is money where divorce is concerned and the more organised you are, the easier you will find the whole process. In particular, you will need the following:
To apply for a divorce
- Your original marriage certificate, or a certified copy
- The full name and address of your spouse
For the financial settlement
- 12 months’ worth of bank statements
- A pension valuation
- Evidence of income
- Credit card statements
- A recent mortgage statement (if applicable)
- A free Consultation
Make sure you take advantage of the free consultation offered by most reputable solicitors.
It can be up to an hour long and will leave you under no obligation to use their services but will provide you with the information you need to make that choice. To maximise the benefits of the consultation, make sure you take any relevant documentation regarding the marriage and finances. It is also a good idea to make a note of any questions that you may want answers to and take them with you.