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What are we each entitled to in our divorce settlement?

What does the law say about how to split the house, how to share pensions and other assets, and how much maintenance is payable.

What steps can we take to reach a fair agreement?

The four basic steps to reaching an agreement on divorce finances are: disclosure, getting advice, negotiating and implementing a Consent Order.

What is a Consent Order and why do we need one?

A Consent Order is a legally binding document that finalises a divorcing couple's agreement on property, pensions and other assets.


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Paying 'costs'

  • Tearead
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09 Aug 18 #503313 by Tearead
Topic started by Tearead
My husband and I both want to divorce. The marriage has not been good for a long while. He began a relationship with another woman, which I could use as a reason for divorce. I could also easily cite many reasons for 'unreasonable behaviour' as he could for me, simply because we have not been on the same page for a long time.
Unfortunately, he has got in there first and is putting a petition together to divorce me. This really doesn't bother me. The issue is that he has gone to a solicitor (I felt this was unnecessary). The solicitor has asked me to pay half the costs of the court (which I am OK with), but also half their costs and if I don't agree, they will ask the court to make me pay all the costs.
Firstly, I cannot afford this and secondly, as I could have divorced him and claimed costs from him, I don't think this is fair.
I'm loathe to go to a solicitor myself at this point (I probably will when it comes to sorting out our financial arrangements) because I feel it would probably be 'cutting my nose off to spite my face', as the outcome would be exactly the same, and it would cost more money in the long run.
I would be grateful for any advice.

  • .Charles
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14 Aug 18 #503397 by .Charles
Reply from .Charles
On the face of it you both want a divorce and you will both benefit from this so splitting the costs if fair.

What you are saying is that you could have divorced your husband therefore you shouldn't pay costs. This doesn't work as an argument as you didn't divorce your husband, he is divorcing you.

It is for the Petitioner to claim costs, not the Respondent to say that they could have issued a divorce petition.

The matter is confused further by the fact that accept a contribution to the court fee whereas 'divorce costs' include the court fee and any legal fees incurred in dealing with the divorce. That's the starting point for the court.

The above may sound critical but it's not meant to be - the system is old, open to interpretation and pretty rubbish.

The safest bet is to ask how much the divorce costs will be and agree to pay a fixed amount which is broadly half of those costs (£500-750 for half would be typical) and state that you cannot afford to pay that amount until the matrimonial finances are settled.

There are other options. You could hedge your bets and see if the court agrees with your proposed payment of half of the court fee only (risky); you could defend the divorce and try to get the petition dismissed (foolhardy and incredibly risky); or you could cross petition and hope that each side pays their own costs (you might be out of time to do this and it's also risky and you would have to pay a fee to issue the cross-petition).

Charles

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