Average Divorce Costs Over £70k
According to research conducted by the commercial law firm, Seddons, the average cost of divorce for couples is £70,243 and takes 11 months to complete. The exorbitant price tag is composed of approximately £4700 in lost wages, another £5000 in new living accommodations, legal fees just under £9000, and the outstanding £51,000 is attributed to debt and shared assets.
For Londoners, the stats are far worse as the average costs of divorce almost doubles to £134,525! Due to the overall higher costs of living and legal fees, Londoners stand to lose 92% more in a divorce than the average couple.
Thankfully, there are ways to circumvent the astronomical price of divorce. But as a forewarning, most of these options do require a healthy level of amicability between both parties.
- DIY Online Divorce – A quick Google search for online divorce will bring up several quick divorce service providers. These will be the cheapest option as the dissolution can be less than £1000 and take less than six weeks. However, this option is really only advised for those that have only been married a short time or have been separated for over five years, and have already negotiated and agreed on asset division, debt repayment, and child custody/visitation. You can find more information regarding DIY divorce at org.uk.
- Mediation Without Lawyers – A divorce mediator acts as the neutral third party that helps the couple negotiate on the terms of the divorce (assets, debt, children, etc.). They are less expensive than solicitors and will provide couples with a clear, objective view of a settlement that works for both parties.
- Mediation With Lawyers – While a mediator will generally be well versed in family law, they are not solicitors and cannot give legal advice. Therefore, to ensure that there are no missteps in slightly more complicated matters, lawyers may be necessary. Mediation with solicitors can also speed up the divorce process. Rather than having two solicitors fight to the death for their clients, the mediator acts as referee, which can solve disputes faster and cut down on the billable hours.
- Arbitration And Collaboration – Arbitration is used when a couple employs the help of a solicitor for one particular issue when negotiation appears to be at a stalemate. It is generally used to work out complicated financial matters. Collaboration is when the couple and their lawyers meet for a roundtable discussion/negotiation to settle dissolution terms and avoid going to court.
- Direct Access With A Barrister – Rather than appointing a solicitor, you can go directly to a barrister for legal council. This option will usually halve the cost of a divorce using solicitors. You can search for barristers using the Direct Access Portal.
These options are meant to help couples avoid going to court. If you find yourself in a particularly nasty and complicated separation there are other ways you can keep costs down with your solicitor.
Lastly, if you are willing to do absolutely anything to avoid the £70,000 expense, there is always the option of marriage counselling.