Divorce is not the nicest experience in the world. Sometimes relationships don’t work out and end amicably.
With the cost of divorce in London averaging at around the £134,000 mark and £70,000 for the UK as a whole.
Below we will look at the costs involved and a more affordable way to separate.
Recent research suggests divorce is costing more and more each year, with legal fees attributing to that increase.
Additionally, the loss of assets shared by a couple, the loss of employment or income and unpaid debt interest as well as the cost of finding new (and often temporary) accommodation all factor into why it is so expensive.
Divorcees have been very vocal with their criticism of lawyers and other professionals who gain from this sad and stressful process.
It is interesting when you think about it because one thing that increases both the cost and conflict related to divorce is both parties having a separate divorce lawyer.
Then there’s the fact that hiring a lawyer to handle all the negotiations and discussions concerning your divorce means you have little to no control over the process – something that is at what most people would prefer – to have control over the decisions they make.
Process that isn’t Working
It was also discovered by the research that the most important thing for most people (around ¾) getting divorced that the process was completed as quickly as possible.
Moreover, people are interested in maintaining control over their own divorce, while keeping the costs low and making sure it is completed quickly.
The survey in question showed that there was a lack of real trust in the legal sector achieving this. Suggesting that we are now relying on a system and process that no longer works.
Most were dissatisfied with things as they stood and hoped there would be an alternative way of progressing and moving on with their lives.
A New Way to Divorce
We were not incredibly surprised by the results of this interesting survey. However, an alternative already exists.
There are apps like Amicable which allow you to communicate with each other and arrange a solution.
If you get stuck, these apps also offer divorce coaches at a cheaper rate than a lawyer to offer you a solution.
Online Divorce Services
Although it may not sound completely legit, using online divorce services to cut out the middle man, reduce the costs and speed up the whole process is completely legal.
In fact, you can officially complete the whole process online. The government have a link for filing your divorce and one of the ways you can handle your breakup is by doing it completely yourself.
This option is more than possible if you both have an amicable relationship despite wanting to divorce and you are both still communicating. Both partners in a couple need to be on the same page for this do-it-yourself option to work.
If one of you have any disagreements about finances or reasons for divorcing or there are kids involved, it’s likely that doing it yourself will not be possible and you will need a party in the middle to mediate for you both. How you do that, is up to you. You can use a divorce coach as discussed above, a mediator or the most expensive choice, hire a lawyer each.
However, if you’re both on speaking terms and don’t have much to argue about when divorcing, then doing it yourself is the cheapest and fastest option.
That is if you live in England or Wales and meet the following requirements:
- There are valid grounds for the divorce
- The divorce is agreed by both parties
- The marriage lasted for 12 months at least
- Wales or England is your permanent residence or you are domiciled in either Wales or England but live abroad.
It is relatively simple to file for a divorce online, but before you can obtain the necessary decree absolute from a judge that ends the marriage, you need to follow the 5 steps below.
- Identify that you have acceptable grounds for divorce. In the UK there are five grounds for divorce – desertion, unreasonable behaviour, adultery, living separately for 2 years or more, living separately for 5 years or more.
- Pay the service fee
- Apply for your divvorce
- Apply for your decree nisi, which signifies there is no valid reason why divorce can;t happen
- Apply for your decree absolute, once a required period of 6 weeks has passed since the judge set the nisi pronouncement date.
To make these 5 steps go as smoothly as possible, here are 6 tips to make sure you are not delaying the process or making mistakes which might annoy your partner and jeopardise the process:
1. Negotiate using facts, not emotions
If you stick to the facts, it’s much more difficult for emotions to start flying. This is when people can start acting without using their rationale. Stay calm and only talk facts.
2. The process will be slower if you try to make your partner rush
Be firm but understanding, so that your partner continues to stay amicable.
3. Make a list of things you have, so you can split them fairly
Make a list of the things you have together and agree on dividing it, or what belongs to who. This can be an area where emotions can fly also, so it’s important again to stick to the facts when discussing belongings.
4. Prepare a timeline with your partner
When you prepare, you’ll both feel happier with the process because you know what to expect and there are no nasty surprises. This also helps keep emotions in check.
5. Don’t go straight to a lawyer/solicitor
This is what makes divorces super expensive and can take it into the six figures if you make it particularly complicated for each other. Neither of you want that.
6. Make the divorce about your future – not on your past
The language you use is important. If you dwell on the past, negative feelings can bubble up to the surface. Talk about how you can both do what’s best for the kids future or best for both of your futures where you can both be happy. This makes the experience positive.
In summary, if you’re absolutely sure that a relationship is irretrievable, then a divorce is unfortunately the best option for you both as a couple.
However, it doesn’t have to be so expensive to both move on with your lives.