Each person will pay for their own legal representation in divorce proceedings in the UK. As for the divorce court fee, the person who petitioned for divorce will need to pay this. If a joint application was made for no-fault divorce, then the person named as “applicant 1” is responsible for the court fee.
It is up to you whether you want to have legal representation during your divorce proceedings. Whilst it is not mandatory, it provides many with peace of mind. Lots of solicitors give a fixed fee service so that you are aware of how much the fees will cost from the outset.
Is it possible to avoid paying legal divorce fees in the UK?
Yes, there are instances where you can avoid paying legal divorce fees. If you are eligible you may be able to get a court fee waiver in the following circumstances:
You have a low income: If you earn an income of up to £1,170 per month if you are single or £1345 if you have a partner, you may be eligible for a fee waiver. You can earn up to an extra £265 for each child to claim the waiver.
You have a low level of savings: If you have a small amount of savings of less than £3000 and are under the age of 61, you may be able to claim a court fee waiver. Although, if the divorce fee costs between £1000-£10,000 then you are eligible if you have savings of £16,000 or less.
You claim benefits: You may be eligible for a fee waiver if you claim certain benefits in the UK including income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Income Support, Universal Credit (and you earn less than £6,000 a year) or Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit).
To claim a fee waiver, you need to make an online application and you will be provided with a “Help with Fees” reference number. You will need to give your national insurance number, your court or tribunal form number, and your case number. You will also need to detail your savings, earnings, or any benefits you receive.