Ministry of Justice raise divorce fees
24 March 2016 by Simon Osborn
On Thursday 17th March 2016 the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) announced a 34% rise in the cost of an application to the Court for a divorce, nullity or civil partnership dissolution, from £410.00 to £550.00, with effect from Monday March 21st 2016. The rise was proposed in summer 2015. However, the official announcement that the rise would take place with only two working days notice surprised family lawyers and their clients. Presumably the short notice was intended to avoid a rush of petitions to beat the fee increase.
Statistics demonstrate that nearly 70% of divorce proceedings are instigated by women and therefore this rise will have a disproportionate impact on them, a point made by a House of Lords select committee prior to the parliamentary debate. It may lead to financial hardship for some spouses seeking to extract themselves from a relationship which has broken down.
Statistics have shown that the actual cost to the MoJ of the administrative process for a divorce is only £270.00, so that the Court fee now being charged represents nearly 200% of the actual cost to the court service for an uncontested divorce.
If you would like to know more details the government guidance on the new fees is set out fully here at item 10: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fees-for-civil-and-family-courts/court-fees-for-the-high-court-county-court-and-family-court#family-court-fees.