Should a divorce really cost this much?
January 17, 2008 12:46 PM   Subscribe

Scots Law: We've been told that a friends divorce could cost her £30-40,000 in fees if it needs to go to court (Glasgow Sheriff Court), to be resolved. Is this possible or is it an exaggerated figure? More inside..

A close friend's getting divorced and it looks like the court will need to decide the settlement between the two parties.

The case will be heard at Glasgow Sheriff Court, possibly over two days, and she's been told that it could cost up to £30-40,000 due to court and lawyers fees.

Can anyone with experience of divorce under Scots law confirm or deny this? The figure seems inordinately high to us, especially when she was quoted £5-6,000 if the divorce settled out of court.

If it is right, where does the extra £25/30,000 come from and what does she get for her money?

Thanks in advance..
posted by Nugget to Law & Government (3 answers total)
That's higher than average, but hardly unheard of. Is the divorce contested? Has there been any pre-trial agreement as to costs assignment (though you seem to be referring to overall costs?)? Are property, child care/contact or maintenance contested? How much income and assets are actually involved? I am no sort of expert on this (especially the possible Scottish variances), but I would guess that these are just some of the data you should probably provide before anyone can provide a good opinion on this question. Could you provide all the information relied on by the (lawyer? bloke on the street?) who estimated £30-40K?

Shopping round a few local law providers may be a better idea than polling askme. Stick your postcode in the 'Find a legal adviser' function on CLSdirect and find some Family Law specialists who can give you a free half-hour assessments.
posted by wilko at 1:12 PM on January 17, 2008

if I was a bit abrupt, and didn't directly answer the question (various cost ranges are returned by a superficial google search, but I don't have confidence in any of them);
that I used 'provide' too often;
but most of all that I linked to a site that apparently only covers England and Wales (d'oh). Try, say, the SLAB for local help.
posted by wilko at 1:53 PM on January 17, 2008

Thanks Wilko.

The figure was supplied by the lawyer at the start of the divorce proceedings, which she's instigated based on his infidelity. Her current bill is currently in the region of £5000.

Main assets are the house (£320k est), and his pension (£150k I believe). Children are adults so no custody proceedings. Combined value of other assets (cars, stocks etc), is approx £25k. His future earnings until retirement are approx £150-£200k. Hers are only £20-22k.

He's preventing an out of court settlement by contesting her claims to a 50/50 split on his pension - rather than wait until he retires she wants a lump sum of £75k from his half of the house sale. He's also contesting any monthly alimont payment above a token amount of £50.

I'm really just curious as to where the extra £25/30k in fees come from and what they cover. Seems like an extortionate amount for 2 days in court.
posted by Nugget at 2:55 PM on January 17, 2008

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