Most people don’t get married and foresee divorce. It’s one of those incredibly sad things that just happens sometimes. Perhaps you were married young and now you’ve grown into incompatible people. Perhaps you just grew apart. Maybe one of you has fallen out of love with the other, or in love with someone else. Whatever the reason, divorces can be difficult, especially if there are assets, children or co-owned pets involved.
You might be angry. You might really want to hurt your ex, make things as difficult as possible for them, lead them into financial ruin. You might not care about your own finances, because hurting someone who has hurt you might feel like the most important thing in the world right now. But trust us, you will get over it one day. When you do, it would be nice to have some money and some dignity left, wouldn’t it? So, try not to go completely mad with anger.
If you can manage it, an out of court divorce will work out better for you in the long term. Here’s why.
Going to court is expensive
Not just expensive, but really, expensive. There’s no one-size fits all answer to exactly how much you’ll pay because it depends on individual circumstances. It costs more, for example, to get divorced if one of you wants to stay married. The very least it will cost you is £550.
Still, if you’re the one seeking the divorce, then you are known as the petitioner, and you will have to pay somewhere between £450 and £950 in solicitors fees, as well as a £550 divorce Centre fee. If you’re the respondent, you’ll have to pay between £240 and £600.
The £550 petitioner fee absolutely cannot be avoided unless you are eligible for fee remission and is the bare minimum you would pay if you wanted to get divorced, but if you have to go to court regarding financial issues and you are paying a solicitor by the hour, whether you are the petitioner or the respondent, the cost of your divorce are going to skyrocket.
Fees on matters that go to court can be anywhere from £10,000 and £15,000 if you only have a few court appearances, this could increase drastically if it drags on for a long time.
It can take a long time
If you’re getting divorced, you will no doubt be looking forward to moving on to the next stage of your life, and it can be difficult to do this if you’re still going through divorce proceedings.
If you plan on taking your divorce to court in order to determine child custody arrangements and financial settlements, it can take months, or even years, to see your divorce through to the end. Nobody wants their old relationship dragging on for that long. It’s not good for your mental health and you’ll surely look back on it one day as a waste of valuable time.
It’s best, where possible, to hire a mediator to help you to divide up your assets, compromise, and move on as quickly as you can.
It’s hard on your children/loved ones/friends
We all know someone whose parents dragged them through the court system as part of their divorce and most children this happened to were left feeling very bitter about it. If you have children, it is even more important that you try to avoid going to court. They could be called upon to speak, though this happens less frequently now than it used to, and this is an incredibly grown-up and difficult thing for most children to deal with.
As well as this, your family and friends will also suffer. Divorce is rarely just about two people.
Tips for keeping your divorce out of court
- If you think you’ll struggle to divide your assets, bring a mediator on board as soon as possible. They’ll help you to decide who keeps what.
- Be prepared to compromise. You might not get absolutely everything you want and being the respondent doesn’t mean you’re more likely to get the best of everything, even if your partner had an affair.
- Put your kids first. Whatever happens, do not use them as a weapon. They will remember and it will impact them negatively.
- Let go of the little things. Does the family china really mean so much to you that it’s worth dragging this through the courts and spending more than its value in legal fees? Most probably not.
- Hire a good Solicitor. Do your research. Look for someone with a proven track record, who specialises in family law.
- When it comes to pets, think very carefully and honestly about who the best person is to look after your furry friends. Who spends most time at home, is better placed financially to care for them, and who does your pet prefer? Be honest about this, even if it isn’t you.
We know that this can be a very difficult time and we understand. If you need any help, advice or support with your divorce, we’d love to speak to you and help you through it.
Call us on 0161 4941 3933 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.