“How much does a divorce cost” is a question I am frequently asked.
The key determinant of the cost of a divorce will be the parties themselves. If they can deal with the matter in a mature fashion and agree terms, with the help of mediation or their solicitors, it will cost considerably less in time and legal costs than if there is acrimony, bitterness, disputes, and mistrust.
Agreed terms-uncontested divorce
If terms have been agreed, or substantially agreed, between the spouses you are probably looking at an approximate figure starting at €2,500 plus vat.
If either party has a pension, then a Pension Adjustment Order will be needed and this will involve additional work. A reasonable estimate for this work, including attending court to obtain the order, would be €1,000 plus vat.
Where no agreement has been reached between the parties gives rise to a situation of contested divorce. You could probably expect legal fees to commence at €7,500 plus vat for a contested divorce, but this will depend on the complexity of the parties finances, how unyielding each party is, the number and complexity of outstanding issues between them, and any other matters that will ensure a heated attitude to each other.
Notices of Motion
Notices of Motion, and other interim court orders or applications which might be needed, will also add to the ultimate cost of the divorce. You would need to allow €750 plus vat at the low end for interim applications and motions.
A full day in court could cost €3,000 plus vat and upwards so it is imperative that divorcing parties recognise they can do it the easy way or hard way. And unless they have deep pockets, they need to acknowledge at the outset that the cost of their divorce will be very much in their hands and influenced by their attitude to each other.
Factors to consider
Some additional factors to consider may include
- The complexity of the matter
- Whether there are minor children or not
- The candidness of each party in disclosing assets and liabilities and other important financial information
- The degree to which the parties engage in the process; it often happens that one of the parties buries his/her head in the sand and ignores correspondence and notices to do with the legal proceedings
- Any issues to do with child protection and welfare
- The need for specialist reports from a child psychologist, play therapist or another expert such as a psychologist or psychiatrist
- The need for an accountant’s report
The cost of a divorce will be determined by the amount of time, co-operation and agreement between the parties. This has a direct influence on the amount to time and money for legal costs that will be required.