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How much does a divorce cost (Scotland)

(27 Posts)
LiarsWife Tue 31-Jan-12 08:52:24

I have been to see a solictor but she is quite vague about costs apart from the fact that it £175 plus VAT per hour (How long does it take to send an email for example?)

We are trying to sort out as much as possible to reduce the solicitor costs

Sol has suggestesd looking into STBXH's pension as I am entitled to a share of it for the time we were married but I am really worried about how much this is likely to cost

Anyone got an idea of a ballpark figure?

SummerflowerXx Tue 12-Sep-17 22:48:40

Zombie thread and the costs are hopelessly inaccurate if anything is contested.

PigletWasPoohsFriend Tue 12-Sep-17 15:57:34


SDOS Tue 12-Sep-17 15:53:08

If you have children under 16 the total cost would be just under £600

ChelworthBrond Tue 08-Apr-14 20:23:22

sambrown1 are you not able to Google the cost of serving a writ?

This is why it's good to have a solicitor, so they can spoon feed you everything you want to know.

sambrown1 Tue 08-Apr-14 19:05:46

it cost me 21k for mines, my other half decided to do it himself, no property,,,

anyway so far £198 paid to online divorce
£136 for the initial writ
£32 for the marriage/birth certificate

now we need to pay to serve the writ.. i though this was included (anyone know how much this is)

and how much more is involved...

afternoonhigh Tue 21-Jan-14 10:38:29

I split from my wife in August 2013 and will start divorce proceedings in August 2014.
We both get on well and have sorted out money matters ourselves. Now the question I have is what's the easiest way to proceed and keep the costs down.

STIDW Thu 15-Nov-12 16:29:02

Perhaps I've misled you a bit. It does depend on how much work is involved over and above the time it takes to draft the initial writ. You will need affidavits and a warrant to serve the papers etc. Online services offer a fixed price of around £800 which I believe includes the court fees.

Lovingfreedom Thu 15-Nov-12 13:00:39

Thanks! I've got the separation agreement all signed and sealed and registered at the Sheriff's Court in Edinburgh etc. My solicitor was saying about £1,300 on top of that for the divorce...but I'm thinking that sounds a bit much given that the difficult negotiations are sorted.

STIDW Thu 15-Nov-12 01:20:59

The expensive bit is negotiating the separation agreement. To divorce your solicitor will need to draft an initial writ which usually costs roughly about £200-£300. The initial writ is then sent to court along with a fee of £125 for the Sheriff's Court.

Lovingfreedom Wed 14-Nov-12 15:02:26

Anyone got experience of divorce in Scotland after a separation agreement has already been signed by both parties to tie up financials etc? Has to go through the ordinary route due to children under 16 but both parties in agreement, over 12 months separation and all finances tied up. How much is that likely to cost me? Thanks

LiarsWife Thu 02-Feb-12 08:59:07

I have a card that he'd written her declaring his love and talking about the intimate times they had (that was when he finally admitted to it - before that he made me out to be a paranoid idiot angry)

I'm not bothered about a divorce ... I'm not planning on getting remarried so if he wants a divorce he can divorce me

STIDW Wed 01-Feb-12 23:37:11

Unless there is an admission adultery can be difficult to prove and if the divorce is defended the legal fees mount up. There must be a witness that sexual intercourse took place. Almost all divorces in Scotland (over 90%) are granted because of separation, either one year no-cohabitation with consent or two years co-habitation without consent.

LiarsWife Wed 01-Feb-12 17:19:02

Thanks STIDW

We are planning on selling the house and splitting the equity and have sorted out the access for DD7 (Him 3 nights me 4 nights per week)

I have asked the solicitor to give me an idea about how much the investigation into the pension is likely to cost but not doing anything else at present

I am still considering whether or not I should petition for divorce on the grounds of his adultery or whether I should just make him wait the year and then he can divorce me - I want to shell out as little as possible in order to ensure the best possible future for me and my daughter.

STIDW Wed 01-Feb-12 11:54:43

"How much does a divorce cost?" is rather like asking how long is a piece of string. As others have said it depends on the amount of work involved. Sending an email will cost about 10% of the hourly rate. I'm not a solicitor but what people need to realize is that solicitors' fees cover the costs of accommodation, staff, training, IT, insurance etc. The cost of insurance alone isn't insignificant, typically it breaks down to about a third of the fee.

Costs can be kept down by doing as much work as possible between yourselves. The first thing is in Scotland all the assets (including pensions) held in joint and sole names need to be valued as of the date of separation. The Cash Equivalent Transfer Value that is given for pensions doesn't always reflect the true value and sometimes it is necessary to obtain an actuarial valuation that can cost a couple of thousand pounds. The value of the pension is apportioned according to the number of years contributions were made to the fund.

Then any non matrimonial property needs to be identified eg assets that were owned before marriage, gifted or inherited that have been kept separate from family finances.

Once the size of the matrimonial "pot" has been determined it is shared "fairly," usually equally although if a spouse has been advantaged or disadvantaged by the relationship (eg given up their career to care for children) or there are special circumstances moving away from 50:50 might be justified. The value of pensions apportioned to the marriage can be shared or offset against other assets.

There is no reason why you can't sort out the valuations and collect and copy documents yourselves ready to produce for the solicitors when required. Most people will need advice regarding the valuation of pensions. You can also negotiate an agreement between yourselves, possibly with the help of a mediator. If agreement can be reached it can be drafted by the solicitor into a separation agreement which is legally binding once registered through the courts.

Once there are no outstanding financial matters one of you can apply for divorce using the Simplified Procedure after one year's non-cohabitation with consent or two year non-cohabitation without consent if there are no children under 16 years of age. When there are children under 16 most people will require a solicitor to draft a writ to apply for divorce under the Ordinary Procedure.

Costs can be kept down by using solicitors efficiently producing documents in a timely manner, keeping to the point, dealing with several issues at the same time rather consulting about each problem as it arises and not using the solicitor as a counsellor.

Be very careful about using the internet and information that isn't specifically about divorce in Scotland. The legal system here is very different from that in England&Wales.

LiarsWife Wed 01-Feb-12 11:54:00

Thanks olgaga

olgaga Wed 01-Feb-12 09:52:55

But if you changed your mind about the wallpaper half way through the job, the estimate wouldn't reflect the final bill!

We know how much it will cost you per hour of your solicitor's time. What we don't know is how much of that time you will need. It might be 3 or 4 hours, it might be 30 or 40. As Collaborate says, it depends how it proceeds.

I think the "average" cost of legal fees is probably around £2,000 - but the effect of the divorce will cost you a lot more - but it depends on your assets and circumstances. For example, you need to factor in the cost of running two homes and cars instead of one. The cost can run into tens of thousands.

You might find this breakdown interesting:

LiarsWife Wed 01-Feb-12 08:43:46

Hi Collaborate .. yes I understand that .. and I also appreciate oyur analogy re the wallpaper but if I got someone in to decorate they would tell me how much it was going to cost! confused

Collaborate Tue 31-Jan-12 23:34:56

So much of the cost has to do with the client. Some are high maintenance and ring all the time, taking issue with every sodding little detail. Others are so laid back they're almost horizontal - always give what they're asked for, and accept advice without the need for lengthy explanations. No prizes for guessing whose bill comes in lower. Time is money.

olgaga Tue 31-Jan-12 22:52:43

OP it's impossible to give a "ballpark figure". It depends on so many things and every case is different - the cost of legal advice and mediation depends on how much/how many sessions you need. The court fees are usually a few hundred pounds. But you also have to factor in other stuff such as whether you have property to sell, the cost of another rent deposit, how you will pay for two homes instead of one etc. You are in a better position to know all that than we are!

LiarsWife Tue 31-Jan-12 22:02:03

Still no ballpark figure????

LiarsWife Tue 31-Jan-12 15:14:39

Thanks olgaga

olgaga Tue 31-Jan-12 14:07:33

You might want to read through this - it's very informative about the position in Scotland.

If things are reasonably amicable, you should be able to sort most of it out at mediation. Make sure you have all the paperwork and the Mediator can go through it with you. Mediators usually have a background in Family Law. But I would always advise you get legal advice too - just because it's amicable now, doesn't mean it will stay that way.

The more you can agree beforehand about arrangements for finance and children, the less costly it will be. Take a look at the "Family Mediation" section via the link.

LiarsWife Tue 31-Jan-12 12:20:01

I work full time and earn more than STBXH

olgaga Tue 31-Jan-12 11:04:06

We are trying to sort out as much as possible to reduce the solicitor costs

False economy. If you don't mind ending up with nothing but maintenance for the kids and the piece of paper, DIY.

If you have kids and are not working, for example, and want a fair financial settlement which fully recognises all your joint assets, your contribution to the marriage and ensures financial security for you in future, pay a solicitor to act in your interests.

You will probably be directed to Mediation anyway, and this can cut down your costs to a minimum if you are both willing to reach agreement - but divorces do cost money.

Collaborate Tue 31-Jan-12 09:34:55

Anyone can act for themselves in any kind of court proceedings (though in Scotland I think it might be slightly different in some courts).

Similarly, I can try and wallpaper my house, fix my car, etc, but I don't, as I know I will do a cack job. So I get in people who will charge me for their time. They do the job far quicker and to a better standard than I would do it. Although it costs me more initially, as I have to pay them for their time, in the long run my car will run better and for longer, and my lounge won't look a mess. So in the long run it's worth it.

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