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How much does divorce really cost????

(11 Posts)
Wellwobbly Sun 20-Oct-13 16:13:53

I know that is along the lines of 'how long is a piece of string',

but I have just done the filing of the petition (which he disputed it took 3 goes)...

£3,500 and counting!!! WTF?

Also: if the courts aren't interested in who is at fault, why do I have to give particulars of unreasonable behaviour?

What the sol has set out for me to do, is Form A (my living expenses), then Form E (his, because me as a SAHM for 20 years I don't really have any assets),

then mediation, then if it gets sticky,

Barristers and court.

How much is this all going to cost would you say?

I don't want to be angry any more, I don't want to teach him a lesson, I just want to be protected by my sol and the courts (we had a very unbalanced M in which he had his own way the whole time), for him to give me my £££££ and for me to start my life anew.

What do the legal eagles on this thread think of collaborative divorce with a (professionally diagnosed) narcissist?

I would be very grateful for your responses, thanks. Very in the dark here and don't know what to think or who to trust.

Wellwobbly Sun 20-Oct-13 16:21:15

Sorry, meant to add: he negotiates all day for a living, and is a narcissist.

I am not a details person and would have to rely on his sense of fairness ... confused

- so would I be protected in a collaborative divorce?

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 20-Oct-13 17:42:23

Hmm ExH didn't directly argue just apathy. Never collecting court papers that were sent registered delivery from the sorting office, took weeks to sign any bit of paper. So far my costs are at £4,500, solicitor estimates final cost will be between £5,500 and £6,000 depending on how much he drags his feet.
If feel I lucky I know one couples whose total fees ended up at £45,000 as they both argued every tiny thing.

STIDW Sun 20-Oct-13 20:05:11

I'm not a "legal eagle" but a legal benchmarking study recently estimated the average cost of divorce at around £1300 per person but sadly if the parties, or one of them, do not cooperate it can cost considerably more.

There is no medical diagnosis of narcissist. Narcissism is a natural part of the make of up of us all. Narcissistic personality disorder is a different matter. Some people have "overwhelming strong personalities" that drive their powerful ways and effect on others but that is often driven by low self esteem. In every profession there are some overwhelmingly strong personalities and we usually just have to work with them which is all you are doing with collaborative law if that is what you mean.

Unfortunately when no fault divorce was introduced the Government got cold feet and only did it by half so unreasonable behaviour and adultery are still "facts" used as evidence the marriage has broken down.

lostdad Mon 21-Oct-13 13:23:38

The actual divorce and finance parts can be relatively cheap - contesting a divorce application is pointless and even finance hearings have a life span.

Child matters are a different matters.

If you fight over these expect a long, hard, damaging and financially crippling ordeal. My case lasted 5 years. I went to court 15 times and I estimate my ex's bill somewhere around £20,000 (I represented myself with the assistance of a McKenzie Friend and paid about a tenth of that whilst achieving the result I had sought with my son's mother at the start of the case).

I know other people whose cases have last 10 years and cost in excess of £100,000. But those are extremes.

Moral of this story: No matter how much you may despise your ex - talk. Because if you don't you lose out, your ex loses out, your kid especially loses out and the only people who come out with a gain are the solicitors.

Wellwobbly Mon 21-Oct-13 21:37:55

We will not fight over children (he is a good Dad and they are older), but we will fight over money.

I am scared.

feelingvunerable Mon 21-Oct-13 22:26:35

I feel your pain.

I find it virtually impossible to talk to my stbxh. It is just too stressful.
He argued black was white, criticising me and blaming me for everything, even though he was the one who left and is with ow.
Then he would say that yes I was right and he would agree to do x. The next day he would change his mind and tell me no he would no longer agree to do x.

I don't know whether to go to court over finances or not. He has refused my latest financial offer, despite both my solicitor and bank manager saying it is a very generous offer.

Suzietwo Tue 22-Oct-13 21:34:44

Don't be frightened. I think you need to take some control over the fees. If your solicitor has set out the steps above, ask for a fee quote for each stage. Ask them to fix or cap the fees for each stage. If they say no, ask them what they can offer you to control fees. Divorce is competitive and everyone is interested in retaining clients.

As for collaborative law, I don't see a problem with the personality type you describe. However the fact you've started with a contested petition indicates you may not be a good case for collaborative. What was his problem with the petition? Did your solicitor suggest you agree not to use the fact he didn't defend the petition in any financial or child proceedings in the future? If not, they should have as it would have saved your costs.

I do a lot of collaborative work. It's fantastic. We introduce family consultants to manage the psonality issues and that saves you fees as youset aside the crap before a meeting and just focus on getting the deal done. I.e. You pay us lawyers to do the legal stuff, not manage the personalities. Have you spoken to your lawyer about it? It will also depends on who is acting for your husband. Your solicitor will probably know them and whether they are likely to be interested in a collab case. It's always worth talking about tho, particularly in conjunction with questions about fees. Put the fear into your lawyer to try and get a better deal on fees.
Fwiw, I charge out at 280 and have been dealing with a contested petition in the last month. I charged that client 850 + VaT for the work during the moth to sort out. It shouldn't cost a lot more.

TurnOffTheTv Tue 22-Oct-13 21:42:43

Goodness me, I think I got off very lightly. £350 online divorce. Access and money sorted between ourselves which is still ongoing 8 years later. I can see your case is very very different though hmm

TurnOffTheTv Tue 22-Oct-13 21:43:38

I mean the agreement between ourselves still stands 8 years later.

Suzietwo Tue 22-Oct-13 21:45:33

It's great when people can sort it out like that (so long as they get a consent order dismissing claims where possible). Sadly lots of people need more help due either to ccomplicated finances or complex relationships. That can be expensive.

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