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Divorce Costs in the UK: Who Pays the Expenses?

 August 2023

Divorce proceedings are stressful, so it is important to understand the court process and who pays the divorce expenses.

In this article, our family law solicitors look at divorce costs in England and Wales and shed light on who is responsible for paying these expenses.

Initial Discussion

This summary provides general information and does not constitute legal advice on any individual circumstances. 

For an initial discussion and a no-obligation quote, get in touch with us today by simply calling us on 01234 343134 or email us at and a member of our team will get back to you.

Court Fees

Initiating divorce proceedings involves paying a court fee. The fee is paid by the person applying for the divorce.

In no-fault divorce proceedings the applicant can either be a husband or wife or a joint divorce application can be made. It is best to speak to a divorce solicitor about whether it is in your interests to start a joint divorce application.

The divorce court will not make an order for your spouse to pay your divorce costs other than in very rare circumstances. Therefore, if you are the sole applicant, you will not get a court order ordering your husband or wife to pay half the court fee. It is recommended that you discuss the divorce court fee and the legal costs and how they will be paid before you start no-fault divorce proceedings.

Solicitor Divorce Costs

At Fullers Family Law we offer a fixed-fee divorce so you know how much you will have to pay for specialist legal advice. The fee depends on whether you are the sole applicant in no-fault divorce proceedings or if you are responding to your spouse’s divorce application.

If you instruct a divorce solicitor, then you are responsible for the divorce fees. However, you may be able to negotiate that your husband or wife pays your divorce costs (or contributes towards them) if they agree that you should start divorce proceedings, or they are in a financially stronger position than you are.

Financial Settlement and Child Arrangement Order Applications

Fixed-fee divorce costs do not include negotiating a financial settlement or converting it into a court order dealing with financial matters. Nor do they include the legal costs of reaching an agreement on where your children will reside or the contact arrangements with the other parent.

It is rare for a court to make an order that your spouse should pay all your legal costs (or contribute towards them) if you have to start or respond to a financial settlement, or application for a child arrangements order.

Your legal costs will depend on the complexity of the application. For example, financial settlement legal costs will be higher if your ex-spouse is a high-net-worth individual who is hiding their assets to try to defeat your financial settlement claims.

Talking to a family solicitor will help you understand the likely cost of court proceedings and timescale. These will depend on your circumstances. For example, if you are applying for a child arrangements order because you say your ex-spouse has alienated your children against you, then this type of application is likely to take longer to resolve than a dispute over the time children are returned after contact visits. 

Together We Part Service

If you and your spouse want to work together to apply for a divorce and sort out parenting arrangements for your children or a financial settlement, then our Together We Part service enables you both to see the same solicitor to obtain the help you need.

The Together We Part service helps you focus on reaching a resolution as quickly and as amicably as possible. It isn’t suitable for every divorcing couple but if you are committed to an amicable separation, it may be a good option for you.

How Can Fullers Help?

We understand that finding a solicitor that you feel understands your own specific situation can be a daunting task. So, you can book a free call back with us here.

We have also created a series of fixed-price consultation meetings with a full ‘no questions asked’ money-back guarantee promise.

For an initial discussion and a no-obligation quote, get in touch with us today by simply calling us on 01234 343134, filling in the contact form below, or emailing us at and a member of our team will get back to you.

Book a Free Callback


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