Most solicitors offer a fixed-fee divorce or dissolution service – but they can also charge by the hour.
The amount you’ll have to pay will depend on how much work the solicitor has to do for you.
You can cap fees or the work you want your solicitor to do. Try to agree in advance how much email or telephone contact you’d like.
Solicitor (charging hourly rate): Total costs range from £2,000 to £3,000 for a negotiated financial settlement. And £30,000 (plus VAT) or more for a financial application that goes all the way to a contested final court hearing. Costs will depend on whether you’re trying to decide on care and support for your children, or to sort out your finances, or both. It’ll also depend on how much you and your ex-partner can agree between you and how complicated your circumstances are.
Solicitor (charging fixed fee): Total costs for drawing up a consent order after an uncontested financial settlement could start at £250 (plus VAT). There will be court fees on top of this, depending on what you agree with your solicitor. This won’t include negotiating how complex assets – for example, a pension – should be divided, or extra work if you and your ex-partner can’t agree a settlement.
Collaborative family lawyer: Costs can be hard to estimate but could range from £8,000 to £15,000.
Online divorce or dissolution service: Total costs of up to £400 if a solicitor manages your divorce or dissolution. And between £40 and £200 if a solicitor isn’t involved in the process, plus you’ll need to pay court fees. You’ll need to check whether the service will cover just the divorce or dissolution paperwork or the financial settlement as well.
Mediator: Mediators usually charge from £100 an hour. And most couples have between three and four sessions.
If you want to take your case to court, it’s usually a legal requirement to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment meeting (MIAM). The other person involved is also expected to attend a MIAM, but they don’t have to go to the same meeting as you.
Find out more about MIAM:
If you go to a solicitor first, they’re likely to talk to you about whether it would help to use mediation first.