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These are the stages and costs of my divorce in real time !!

44 replies

Screenwipe · 13/03/2013 11:44

I went to the solicitors and asked how much they would charge me to help me get divorced. They quoted an "all inclusive fee" of £450 - including VAT. The all inclusive fee is only all inclusive though as long as I file for petition and my husband agrees to everything. If he challenges anything then there would be additional costs. Then there is the £340 that you pay to the court when you file for divorce.
As my husband and I are BEST friends, he isn't going to challenge anything. On that basis I downloaded the divorce application forms from the internet and didn't bother with the solicitor at all.
14th Jan- I filed proceedings for divorce.
18th Jan- husband received, signed and returned the acknowledgement.
25th Jan- confirmation of facts arrived. I had to wait 9 days from when my husband dated his acknowledgement before I could return this confirmation of facts.
28th Jan - returned confirmation of facts.
8th Feb - received letter confirming that my decree nisi would be pronounced (or whatever the term is) on 20th Feb. It appears 3 weeks have to pass between them receiving my confirmation of facts and the decree nisi.
20th Feb - decree nisi done.
Letter received saying that I can apply for my decree absolute after 6weeks and 1 day which will be 5th April.

OP posts:
Screenwipe · 13/03/2013 12:07

I then decided to go through Wikivorce for my consent order / clean break. I have mentioned who I am using so that you can all go through the experience with me and decide whether they are any good or not!
I had a very long conversation with Carl, everything he said seemed to make sense. I was then directed back to the website where I would pay my £139 fee. (I had been quoted £650 by my solicitors). After this you no longer deal with wikivorce, you deal with their solicitors - Bretherton's.
21st Feb - download consent order questionnaire(emailed to me by Bretherton's)
25th Feb - mailed off completed questionnaire and £45 court fee for consent order.
27th Feb - confirmation from Bretherton's that they had received the above.
8th Mar - I emailed them as have heard nothing from them. Reply received saying "We have opened a file and the same is in our drafting pile. The drafts will be with you in due course".
.... and that is it.....
11 working days and I haven't received any correspondence from them, they haven't contacted me to ask questions. Mind you, they might have a pretty large pile of other applications to go through before they get to mine. Just would have been nice if they could have given me an estimated date for my draft docs. Might pop over to the Wiki site and see if there is any more info there...

OP posts:
MirandaWest · 13/03/2013 12:14

This is a useful thread for me as XH and I are wanting to get divorced and will be once our two years separation is up. Your experience with doing the divorce part yourself sounds very straight forward and inspires me to do it that way myself as we are both amicable and just wanting to get it done

However we would also need a consent order due to needing to give me some of his pension and me give him a bit of money and so I realise we do need to pay a solicitor for that part. Was looking at the Wikivorce site last night and spoke to someone there. I hadn't realised you could do the divorce part first and then the consent order.

I was also told last night that they will be putting the price up for work on splitting pensions although not sure how much by. Would be good to just wave a magic wand..,

BestestBrownies · 13/03/2013 12:21

Marking place

Screenwipe · 13/03/2013 12:35

Well my solicitors told me that I can apply for the divorce myself and then apply for the consent order / clean break even 6 months after my decree absolute. When I mentioned this to Carl, he said that my solicitors hadn't explaned that there are certain marital things such as share of pensions that you can only apply for whilst married. He advised me NOT to apply for the decree absolute until the consent order was sorted as once you are an ex wife you are not entitled to a share of the pension. I don't want a share of his pension though, or any of his money. He doesn't want mine. So not sure whether to apply on the 5th April for the absolute or not. Maybe this is why my solicitors didn't mention it to me.

OP posts:
Collaborate · 13/03/2013 13:17

You are sort of right, and sort of wrong.

You can always apply in divorce for a share of a spouse's pension, even after DA. You're just not his widow in the event of his death.

Collaborate · 13/03/2013 13:18

Of course there are certian situatuations in which you lose the right to apply to the court for financial orders.

It can be a minefield. Always sensible to get some legal advice.

Screenwipe · 13/03/2013 13:34

Thanks. It's difficult to piece together what you read and bits of advice given then make it all make sense.
Us wanting a share of each other's pension doesn't really apply as the value of our pensions is the same. So I can go ahead with my DA on the 5th April. Then after that I can contact my pension and say that I want my death benefit to be paid to my "partner" which would still be him. I believe that you don't have to be married to benefit from the death cover bit.(I hope). Does that sound right? :)

OP posts:
lottie63 · 16/03/2013 06:31

Useful thread mapping out stages

luckybun · 16/03/2013 07:09

Really useful info - thank you for sharing all the stages

Collaborate · 16/03/2013 07:28

OP it sounds neither right or wrong. It just seems purely voluntary, which is fine, but as for whether its something you should be doing (in the sense that you'd be forced to do it by the court if you couldn't agree) that's something entirely different.

Toadspawn · 16/03/2013 07:32

Did you cite unreasonable behaviour?

Lonecatwithkitten · 16/03/2013 11:53

One observation I would make Screenwipe is that you and your Ex are still friendly and in agreement. Most of us are not that lucky and there is some acrimony in the situation or in my case just plain inactivity and laziness. Once you get either of these or even both a solicitor becomes necessary and is worth every penny you spend.
My ExH and I started the online process last July I signed on the 24\7\12 and by January I was still no closer to being divorce. So I got a solicitor and things have moved on more in the last 4 weeks in all that time.
Great for you that it worked, but it is not the right approach for everyone.

Screenwipe · 17/03/2013 08:19

Toadspawn : Yes, unreasonable behaviour.
Lonecatwithkitten : I know I am lucky and this is not the right approach for everyone. I really do feel for you as I can't bear the thought of the divorce dragging on as long as yours has so far- even if we are best buds.
Even as friends I still watch what I say and do. He could wake up with a change of heart and make things difficult, so I am trying to get on with this without rocking the boat too much. We haven't told family, friends or our son that we are getting divorced. Although difficult as sometimes I feel I need to let off steam, I think keeping it quiet has helped, as neither of us has had anyone telling us to take the other one for all they have got.

My initial reason for writing this log is for people to see how long this all takes in my situation. Including if things go belly up, what to look out for. Also I had been trying to find out useful reviews on Wikivorce and couldn't really find any. If they can't get my consent order sorted in pretty fast time then it will be a poor show as our consent order is a simple one.

Regarding consent orders, I read somewhere that if the couple have already agreed to something, the key when talking to the solicitors is to say something along the lines of "I am not asking you for advice, I purely want you to draft a consent order with our wishes". One of the solicitors I spoke with, started going on about pensions, equity, setting off .... yet all of these make no difference as we have agreed that everything in my name I keep and everything in his name he keeps. Our home is in my name, my mortgage. So all we want are these terms putting forward. From what I have read on other posts it is the solicitors that drag things out and turn an amicable divorce in to one full of hate by planting seeds telling you that you are entitled to this that or the other - just so they can charge more! As I'm still waiting to hear back from Bretherton's, I can't say whether they will be any different as yet.

OP posts:
Screenwipe · 17/03/2013 08:36

If anyone decides that they do want to file the divorce petition themselves, this is where I downloaded the form and help guides from.

OP posts:
CabbageLeaves · 17/03/2013 08:49

Useful thread. I agree that sols can cause difficulties by encouraging each party to make a bigger claim however the other side of that is the situation where someone doesn't make appropriate claim because XTBspouse manipulates them. The sol is doing their job. Some might obviously benefit the longer the divorce wrangle goes on but I think generally they are doing what they are supposed to do.

When you present your consent order to court you both have to sign to say you have had opportunity to take legal advice about content. I think that is to ensure you don't then blame online sol for letting you settle for less than is reasonable

I did DIY divorce and used solicitor for consent order. The divorce was v straightforward and I'd highly recommend DIY. It was also rapid with no time waiting on anyone else.

The consent order was a nightmare and sol (online through Wiki) used legal jargon and wasn't helpful about putting it into easy to understand English. They also made an error in the order which I had to take back to court under slip rule to get corrected (at my own cost) I got what I paid for basically. If I did it again, I'd not use the online sol. It was very stressful and then cost money to fix.

CabbageLeaves · 17/03/2013 08:56

My divorce was 15 weeks beginning to end, cost under £1000 - before further costs accumulated following the errors by online sols; who then point blank refused to get involved in sorting it

Friends divorces have cost a combined sol fee of £20-£25 thousand Shock Unless you think your settlement is wildly unfair I'd not start a big fight - you could lose the same amount to the solicitor.

A Pyrrhic victory

Selba · 17/03/2013 09:35

I'm in Scotland. I got divorced several year ago filling in forms from the local county office( sorry,, don't know the proper name )
Total cost about £70

I'm amazed more people don't do this

MirandaWest · 17/03/2013 10:43

In England you have to pay £340 for court costs and then £45 for the decree absolute part - don't think there's any way around those costs.

CabbageLeaves · 17/03/2013 11:40

I paid court fees, fixed payment for consent order and no other costs to get divorced. Cant remember exact figure but approx £700. It's impossible to do it cheaper and be completely legally divorced including a legal financial separation in England IMO

MOSagain · 17/03/2013 18:00

all well and good when straightforward and no complex finances. However, I think most experienced family lawyers have seen cases where parties have done DIY divorce (or Wikidivorce) which is ok when its ONLY the the main suit (ie divorce itself) They then haven't properly dealt with the ancillary relief (finances) and then a few years down the line realise they've stuffed up.

Always best to seek advice from a proper experienced family lawyer face to face rather than someone who may (or may not) be qualified over the phone.

Mimadre · 20/03/2013 19:04

Thanks for putting this thread up. Is it possible to do a simple divorce if you have a child and a house with mortgage in both names. I currently stay in the house and pay the mortgage and the plan is for me to change mortgage to my name. Would prefer to do it next year as finance hopefully will be better particularly if mortgage company asks for additional capital payment to transfer.

Is it possible to go for a divorce prior to sorting out the mortgage and can we use the simple divorce route if child involved?

STIDW · 20/03/2013 21:16

If you are in Scotland you would normally need to sort out the finances before the divorce. The Simplified Procedure can't be used when there are children under the age of 16 involved or their are outstanding financial matters. You would need to use the Ordinary Procedure. Most people would require a solicitor to draft the writ to apply unless they happened to be a family lawyer.

STIDW · 20/03/2013 21:21

If you are in Scotland you would normally need to sort out the finances before the divorce. The Simplified Procedure can't be used when there are children under the age of 16 involved or their are outstanding financial matters. You would need to use the Ordinary Procedure. Most people would require a solicitor to draft the writ to apply unless they happened to be a family lawyer.

STIDW · 20/03/2013 21:22

there Biscuit

Mimadre · 20/03/2013 23:27

STIDW thanks - really useful.

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