Divorce costs

How much does it cost to get divorced in England?

The cost of a divorce application in England is currently £593. Applying to end a civil partnership also costs the same amount. This also covers the cost of the later applications in the divorce process, such as a conditional order and a final order.  

Divorce lawyers' fees will be charged separately. For the divorce proceedings, our firm's fees are usually in the region of £1,500 - £2,000 plus VAT.

The divorce is usually a straightforward process (How do I get divorced in England?), but the costs will obviously be higher if the spouse against whom the divorce application is made disputes it, either by saying that English court does not have jurisdiction to deal with the divorce (Can I get divorced in England?) or by disputing the validity of the marriage. More complex proceedings are necessarily more expensive.

The court will not usually make costs orders about the costs of divorce (i.e. it will not order one spouse to pay the other's costs). It will instead be left to each spouse to pay their own costs, but whether these in practice come from one spouse's funds or from joint funds will depend on how the spouses' finances were set up during the marriage and whether there have been any agreements about how each spouse is to meet their outgoings (including legal fees) until the divorce is finalised.

Any separate financial and/or children proceedings will also incur separate costs. Given such proceedings tend to be more expensive, there are sometimes various funding options available, and it may in certain circumstances be possible to obtain an order that your spouse pay your legal costs on an ongoing basis. Cost orders after the event (i.e. where a spouse has paid their own costs on an ongoing basis but subsequently seeks 'reimbursement' from the other spouse) are not usually made, but this depends on the specific type of application and other factors, including the way that each spouse conducted themselves during the proceedings. 

In these FAQs and answers, we use 'England' as a shorthand for 'England and Wales' because England and Wales share a single legal system. Scotland, meanwhile, is a different legal system and has different rules for many aspects of family law.

We have also chosen to talk about 'marriages' most of the time (which may be between either an opposite or same-sex couple). Unless we say otherwise, what we have said is also true of civil partnerships (which may also be between an opposite or same-sex couple).

These FAQs (and our website more generally) contain general information based on English law as it stands at the date of publication, but they do not constitute legal advice, nor are they tailored to any couple or family's particular circumstances. Whilst we endeavour to ensure it is accurate and up to date, website users should seek appropriate legal advice before taking or refraining from any action based on the content of the website. We would, of course, be willing to assist with this, and you can contact us here.

Any pricing information is similarly general. Our clients' relationship with us is governed by the terms of the engagement letter sent to them at the beginning of their instruction.

Headshot of Sarah Carter smiling to camera

Get in touch

Our team of divorce law solicitors are on hand to help and support couples who are thinking about divorce.  Speak to one of our experts confidentially by phoning Sarah on the number below, or complete our online enquiry form and we will contact you directly.

Divorce and family services

+44 20 7597 6384 Email Sarah