Shoreham Beach Sunset Wave

Fitzhugh Gates has one of the largest specialist Family Law departments in Sussex.

We know divorce can be a very stressful time. We understand costs can be an extra worry. We believe it is helpful for clients to know what their divorce will cost from the outset.

What is included in the Fixed Fee

  • All standard divorce casework from initial meeting with you through to pronouncement of Decree Absolute.

What is the Fixed Fee

For Petitioners

Our charges are £450.00 plus VAT* and Court fees*

  • Court Fee upon filing Petition £550.00

The total of £1,000 is payable in three instalments:

First instalment of £250.00 at the first meeting when we take instructions

Second instalment of £500.00 before we send the Petition to the Court for issue

Third instalment of £250.00 on the application of the Decree Nisi

* These will be charged at the rate they are from time to time.

For Respondents

If you are a respondent we can offer a fixed fee of £275.00 plus VAT for uncontested matters up to Decree Absolute. You will not have to pay Court fees unless the Petitioner seeks a Costs Order against you or you agree to pay them.

The total of £330.00 is payable in two instalments:

First instalment of £200.00 at initial meeting

Second instalment of £130.00 on Decree Nisi

What is not included in the fixed fees?

  • Amending the Petition following issue or acting for you if the Petition is defended.
  • The cost of getting a copy of your marriage certificate if you do not have the original
  • The cost of organising a Bailiff for personal service or for applying for deemed or substituted service of the Petition if necessary
  • Any advice relating to financial settlement or children**
  • Protracted non routine negotiation.
  • Representation at Court in relation to the Divorce. This is very rarely necessary.
  • Enforcing an Order for costs against your spouse or defending a claim for costs made against you.
  • Completing a fee remission form.

** We are very happy to advise on these aspects and they may need consideration as part of the breakdown of the marriage. The additional cost will depend on the complexity of your matter and your own circumstances. Advice on such matters will be charged at an hourly rate which we can discuss with you at our first meeting. 

What if I change my mind and decide not to go ahead?

If you change your mind after the first meeting, we would charge you an initial consultation fee of £150.00 plus VAT. If you change your mind at any later stage we would charge you for all our work and disbursements incurred until that point on a time recorded basis, applying a standard reduced hourly rate of £190.00. The amount you would pay will not exceed the amount due under the Fixed Fee scheme and may be less.

What if I only want general advice at initial consultation?

We understand that some people will not know whether they want to take steps to divorce, until they have a better understanding of how that may leave them, their finances and their children. If you would prefer to have a general initial consultation on the law relating to divorce, your financial circumstances, finance and children  so that you can better form a view on how it may affect you we can arrange that.

We offer a one-off appointment for £150.00 plus VAT payable in advance of the appointment. Please note we will only be able to comment on the information before us at the appointment which may limit the advice we can give particularly in relation to financial matters.  

If you then proceed to instruct us on the Fixed Fee divorce basis as a petitioner or respondent, the above payment terms will apply.

Head of department: Nicole Lawton - Partner


How to go ahead with a fixed fee divorce

Please call 01273 686811 and request an appointment with our specialist team, mentioning you are interested in a fixed-fee divorce. Alternatively you can use our online priority enquiry form, again please include in your enquiry that you wish to consider a fixed-fee divorce.


The statements and opinions expressed through the website are an overview and not intended to be definitive or taken as advice in any particular case. No liability is accepted for any reliance placed upon Fitzhugh Gates solicitors website articles. The law is both complex and changes quickly. Consequently, specific legal advice must be taken before taking any steps.

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