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Does the person being divorced for adultery always pay costs?

(12 Posts)
RainboweBrite Thu 18-Oct-12 22:00:47

Is it true that the person being divorced for adultery always has to pay all the costs, if that's what the petitioner asks for? I want to file on the grounds of my husband's adultery. He is a very high earner, but not working in a permanent job, and I am a SAHP.

friendlymum67 Thu 18-Oct-12 22:03:29

That's what l've asked for as l am in the same position as you but l am not convinced it is going to happen!!!

ProphetOfDoom Thu 18-Oct-12 22:06:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nocake Thu 18-Oct-12 22:19:39

No, not always and the actual divorce is the cheap bit. It's the financial separating that can cost loads. It can be cheap if the two of you behave sensibly and come to an amicable and fair arrangement by discussing it. You can then get it drawn up by a solicitor and rubber stamped by the court. However, if one (or both) of you decides to be difficult the costs will rapidly escalate. My ex managed to spend over £15k, which was quite a feat given that our assets were limited to £90k equity in a house and my pension.

Ginda Thu 18-Oct-12 22:26:47

I could be wrong but I don't think the ground for the divorce is a reason in itself for a costs award. It's all about "no-fault divorce" these days isn't it?

Boggler Thu 18-Oct-12 22:31:53

No, in my case I divorced first husband for adultery and the costs were mainly paid by me! Not sure how that happened but I just wanted shot of the little shit.

Collaborate Thu 18-Oct-12 23:40:36

A petitioner in an adultery petition is usually awarded their costs, but they may waive that to secure cooperation.

MOSagain Fri 19-Oct-12 08:14:55

agree with Collaborate. As someone else has said, the actual divorce costs are relatively small when compared with the costs for the ancillary relief (finance). So, if a Petitioner does get an order for costs it will only be the divorce costs, which I would be around £700 - £1,000 whereas the costs for contested ancillary relief proceedings could be up to £10,000+

olgaga Fri 19-Oct-12 08:26:17

You might find this useful background reading:

Relationship Breakdown and Divorce – Advice and Links

It is useful if you can get to grips with the language of family law and procedure, and get an understanding of your rights, BEFORE you see a solicitor. If you are well prepared you will save time and money.


If there are children involved, their welfare, needs and interests are paramount. Parents have responsibilities, not rights, in this regard. Shared residence means both parties having an equal interest in the upbringing of the children. It does not mean equal (50/50) parenting time - children are not possessions to be “fairly” divided between separating parents.

A divorce will not be granted where children are involved unless there are agreed arrangements for finance, and care of the children (“Statement of Arrangements for Children”). It is obviously quicker and cheaper if this can be agreed but if there is no agreement, the Court will make an Order - “Residence and Contact” regarding children, “Financial Order” or “Ancillary Relief” in the case of Finance. Information and links to these can be found in the Directgov link below. Residence and Contact Orders are likely to be renamed Child Arrangements Orders in future.

Always see a specialist family lawyer!

Get word of mouth recommendations for family lawyers in your area if possible. If you have children at school, ask mums you are friendly with if they know of anyone who can make a recommendation in your area. These days there are few people who don’t know of anyone who has been through a divorce or separation – there’s a lot of knowledge and support out there!

Many family lawyers will offer the first half hour consultation free. Make use of this. Don’t just stick with the first lawyer you find – shop around and find someone you feel comfortable with. You may be in for a long haul, so it helps if you can find a solicitor you’re happy with.

If you can’t find any local recommendations, always see a solicitor who specialises in Family Law.

You can also find out about Legal Aid and get advice on the Community Legal Advice Helpline on 08345 345 4 345

Or search in your area for Community Legal Advisors:

Co-operative Legal Services offer DIY/Self-Help Divorce packages, as well as a Managed Divorce service. Their fee structure is more transparent and they have a telephone advice line as well as offering really good advice on their website:

You can read advice and search by area for a family lawyer here:

You will also read good advice and find a family lawyer here:

Some family law solicitors publish online feedback from clients – Google solicitors to see if you can find any recommendations or feedback.


You will be encouraged to attend mediation. This can help by encouraging discussion about arrangements for children and finance in a structured way in a neutral setting. However, it only works if both parties are willing to reach agreement.

If there has been violence or emotional abuse, discuss this with your solicitor first. Always get legal advice, or at the very least make sure you are aware of your legal rights, before you begin mediation. This is important because while a Mediator should have knowledge of family law, and will often explain family law, they are not there to give tailored legal advice to either party - so it’s important to have that first.

Married or Living Together?

This is a key question, because if you are married, generally speaking you have greater protection when a relationship breaks down.

Legal Issues around marriage/cohabitation and relationship breakdown are explained here:

DirectGov advice on divorce, separation and relationship breakdown:

Legal Rights and issues around contact are further explained here:

I found these guides from law firms quite informative and easy to read – there are others of course:


Before you see a family law solicitor, get hold of every single piece of financial information you have access to, and take copies or make notes. Wage slips, P60s, tax returns, employment contracts, pensions and other statements – savings, current account and mortgages, deeds, rental leases, utility bills, council tax bills, credit statements. Are there joint assets such as a home, pensions, savings, shares?

If you have no access to financial information, or you are aware that assets are being hidden from you, then obviously you will not be able to reach agreement on finances. If there are children, as you cannot divorce without adequate arrangements being agreed on finance and children, you will have to apply for a financial order anyway. If there are no children, and you are unable to agree on finances, you will also have to apply for a financial order (follow the links below). This seeks financial information from both parties going back 12 months. So it is in your interests to act quickly once you have made the decision to divorce.

If you are married, the main considerations of the Family Courts where parties are unable to agree a settlement are (in no particular order of priority):

1.The welfare of any minor children from the marriage.
2.The value of jointly and individually owned property and other assets and the financial needs, obligation and responsibilities of each party.
3.Any debts or liabilities of the parties.
4.Pension arrangements for each of the parties, including future pension values and any value to each of the parties of any benefit they may lose as a result of the divorce.
5.The earnings and earning potential of each of the parties.
6.Standard of living enjoyed during the marriage.
7.The age of the parties and duration of the marriage.
8.Any physical or mental disability of either of the parties.
9.Contributions that each party may have made to the marriage, either financially or by looking after the house and/or caring for the family.

CSA maintenance calculator:

Handy tax credits calculator:

Handy 5 Minute benefit check, tax and housing benefit calculators:

Parenting issues:

Other Support for Women – Children, Housing, Domestic Violence and - Helpline 0808 2000 247 - Helpline 0844 8044 999 - Helpline 0808 802 0925
(Note that there is usually an appropriate link on these websites for England, Wales and Scotland where the law, advice and contact information may differ.

Xenia Fri 19-Oct-12 13:56:53

Yes, it 's a misconception. The person being divorced has to pay the legal costs - tiny tiny fees. However the legal fees for all the rest of the stuff which may be £20k - £200k or even £500k in some cases will be paid by each side or sometimes one side pays them. I paid my legal fees and my husband's.

BrittaPerry Fri 19-Oct-12 14:01:04

Dh got divorced for adultery - technically it was, but the had been separated for ages and were on amicable terms - I had been nagging him for ages o get it sorted. Eventually she did, and all he had to do was sign some papers and send them back.

BrittaPerry Fri 19-Oct-12 14:04:14

Bu, he basically left the house with a suitcase when they split up (when I met him he was staying with a friend) so she kept the house, car etc. So she probably technically had stuff that was his, so maybe that paid for it? Either way, it was sorted, and everyone went on their way.

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