The government have recently announced an imminent rise in the cost of the Court fee for issuing divorce proceedings. Currently £410, there were initially suggestions of an increase to £750 but already this has been stepped down and we currently expect to see a rise to somewhere in the region of £550. This remains subject to consultation by the Ministry of Justice until mid-September but we could see the increase brought in very soon after, probably by the end of 2015.
The proposed increase is likely to prompt many people contemplating issuing proceedings to go ahead and do so now in order to avoid the extra costs. It is also likely to have an impact on the number of people issuing a Divorce Petition asking for a contribution towards their costs from their husband or wife who will no doubt consider the increase to be more affordable if it is shared.
There will continue to be an option for those on low incomes to see a reduction or full exemption from the Court fee and indeed there is speculation that the fee remission scheme will become more generous. Exact details of what is meant by this are not available but if anything like the existing scheme, stringent requirements will continue to be in place setting out exactly what financial evidence has to be produced to be considered for a reduction on the Court fee.
Further details of the Court fee increase will be shared when confirmation is received from the Ministry of Justice. Whatever the outcome, Wolferstans is committed to continuing to offer competitively priced fixed fee divorce options to clients.
If you have already made the decision that a divorce is inevitable and want to be ahead of the fee rises and would like to speak to one of our specialist family lawyers about divorce or other family law issues, please contact our new client coordinator to make an appointment on 01752 292264.