Your Divorce Bill & Exit Strategy Advice
  • 19th Jun 2019
  • Article written by Dawn Harrison
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With the ongoing uncertainty over how and when we will leave the European Union, you might assume I am referring to the cost of Brexit. Various figures have been reported as to the cost including, recently, £97 million alone in consultancy fees, due it is said, to the lack of sufficient skills in government to deliver on the referendum.  When it was claimed Brexit would deliver cost savings, could anyone have foreseen the costs so far and put in place a strategy to tackle the problem?  Perhaps not when the issues involved are complex and divisive.  So too can be the situation when a couple are facing their own divorce. Many are worried about the costs involved so what is the best way to manage your own divorce bill? Before launching headlong into battle consider the options below:


Can you trust your instincts when facing divorce or separation?


You might spend some time researching the topic on the internet.  You might also ask friends and family.  Listening to expert advice from a family specialist should help set you on the best path. 


The alternatives below might produce different results, not least in terms of costs, so what will you choose…. 



I want to choose the right way for me



Winning is what matters


The first thing to do is try to select the best approach. Many overlook the choices or assume court is inevitable so ask about


  • Solicitor negotiation
  • Mediation
  • Collaborative process
  • Court
  • Arbitration



If you are determined to achieve your goal, whatever the cost, then Court might be your choice. However be warned the rules of the court require a party and the court to consider whether non-court dispute resolution is appropriate at every stage of any process.  If this has not been identified then take time to reflect on what each option can achieve at what cost.



Mediation is often regarded as the most cost efficient option but it does not suit everyone so choosing a Resolution member trained as a collaborative lawyer could also keep costs lower than court. 



If you like the sound of being encouraged to gather all financial information to be shared first before you decide what to do or are told that neither mediation nor the collaborative process are something available with your current advisor, be clear about the costs that this will entail before and once court proceedings are commenced.



Does your legal advisor check how you are feeling, that you are receiving adequate support and understand each stage of the process?  This should help with realistic and sensible decisions.



If your preferred outcome dictates each decision you take, consider how this respects the factors the court will have regard to including the welfare of any minor children of the family as this will be the first and paramount concern of the court.


Do you feel listened to both by your lawyer and within negotiations?  If so this can increase opportunities to identify common factors and goals that will help you reach an acceptable settlement.



If the costs of court proceedings are significantly increasing the pressure on you and the wider family, be prepared to review your options and economic considerations.  The court must address balance and fairness so how likely is it that the scales of justice will be heavily weighted in favour of one over the other?

Cost orders can be made against those the court finds have not conducted themselves well. 



Whatever choices are made, aim to keep the “bigger picture” in view and appreciate that there are many elements that together deliver a good divorce. For some people avoiding the stress and unpredictable nature of contentious court processes will be invaluable but for others court could offer the best chance of a measured decision.