Divorce can be a stressful and expensive process for applicants, and the cost of a divorce can differ greatly. A common question that arises, is who pays for the divorce fees.
On 6 April 2022, no-fault divorce became law in England and Wales under The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act (2020).
No-fault divorces aim to reduce potential conflict and support divorcing couples to formalise the ending of their relationship in a more amicable fashion.
Under the no-fault divorce system, you are no longer able to contest a divorce. You can only dispute the divorce if you have a legal reason.
For example, if you live abroad and the courts in England and Wales might not be able to deal with your application.
Disagreeing with the divorce means there will be a court hearing. Applicants must attend the hearing and come to an agreement over the divorce with their husband or wife.
What is the cost of a divorce?
The cost of divorce includes a court fee of £593, as well as the charges of any solicitor fees who assist you during the divorce proceedings. You must seek independent legal advice from your spouse or partner.
Costs can vary greatly depending on the complexity of the case and the involvement of legal professionals.
Who pays the legal fees?
The person applying for divorce (the applicant) will be responsible for paying the court fee.
If you are making a joint application, you must choose who will be applicant one, because they will be responsible for the court fee.
Legal costs are usually the responsibility of the applicant and the respondent, as they are liable to pay their own legal fees during the divorce proceedings. If you plan on using a solicitor, you should expect to pay the costs yourself.
It is possible for couples to reach a mutual agreement regarding the cost of the divorce. In some cases, a couple may decide to split the fees evenly.
However, this will depend on the circumstances of each couple and how well they get on following the separation.
The issue of who pays divorce fees can be a complex and emotionally charged topic.
Whilst there is no concrete answer, it is generally the case that each party is responsible for their own legal fees in divorce proceedings.
Ultimately, it is important for those going through a divorce to seek professional legal advice and support to ensure they fully understand their rights and responsibilities, and to navigate the process as smoothly and as fairly as possible.
To find out more about our family law services, including separation and divorce, please get in touch with one of our experts today.