How a fixed fee divorce works and finances in divorce

In the first video below, Head of Family Law, Tracey Maloney, discusses our fixed fee divorce service for couples who agree to divorce. In the second video Tracey explains finances in divorce.

Video text with links to more information

How a fixed fee divorce works

Tracey Moloney, Head of Family Law: “When people come in for a divorce, one of the first things that we’re looking to establish is if they are in agreement to a divorce. If they are, then we can offer them a fixed fee divorce. The client will make one payment. We will then do everything for them, from completing the divorce petition right through to obtaining their Decree Absolute.

The respondent to a divorce during a fixed fee divorce wouldn’t need legal representation. They are in agreement to the divorce and therefore they just have to sign what we call an Acknowledgement of Service and return that to the Court. So this saves the other party having any legal costs at all.

Typically a fixed fee divorce will take between 9 to 12 months to go from start to finish, so parties can expect to receive their Decree Absolute about 12 months after starting the divorce procedure.

Fixed fee divorce benefits our customers because we will do everything for them. It takes the stress out of a divorce. We will ensure that everything is done in a timely manner, that papers are prepared properly so that the Court don’t need to return anything and achieve a Decree Absolute for them in the shortest time available.

So, there are no nasty surprises, you get expert help and our expertise at a fixed fee.

Finances in divorce

Tracey Moloney: “The fact that the Decree Absolute doesn’t sever the financial commitment between the parties can come as somewhat of a surprise to people. A lot of people assume that when they receive a Decree Absolute, that will sever the financial commitment that exists between them both, and sadly it doesn’t. What the parties need to consider is obtaining a Financial Order.

So the Decree Absolute will sever the marriage and a Financial Consent Order will sever that financial commitment.

When we take you through the divorce process, at the point of reaching Decree Nisi we will check with you as to whether you need a Financial Consent Order. We can also offer these with a fixed fee.

The appropriate time to submit a Financial Order to the Court is when the parties have received their Decree Nisi. Once we have received Decree Nisi, we will then check with the parties as to whether they want to obtain a Financial Order. If they do, and they’re in agreement to how the assets are to be divided, then we can also offer a Financial Order with a fixed fee.

If the parties can’t agree how the marital assets are to be divided, then the first thing we would recommend is that the parties attempt Mediation. If Mediation fails, then we would recommend an application is made to the Court and the Court will help the parties determine how the assets are to be divided. If the parties can’t agree, then we can assist them by negotiating. If they are able to agree following negotiations, then this will avoid a lengthy and costly Court process.

Any Financial Consent Order that is made has to go before the Court to be sealed – stamped. This then makes the Order binding on both the parties.

For the Order to be fair and reasonable, the needs of both parties are considered, to include the housing needs and needs of any children that are within the relationship. If a Financial Consent Order is made by the Court, and one or other of the parties doesn’t stick to what’s been agreed, then the other party can take the Order back to Court and have it enforced. So it is a legally binding Order made by the Court.

We can support people through the financial negotiations and provide them with the appropriate advice as to what needs to be included in the Financial Consent Order.

Co-op Legal Services is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.