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Family Divorce Court fee to remain but other fees to rise from the 1st May 2024

Following a consultation in November 2023 the Government suggested a potential increase of up to 10% in all family court fees including the Divorce / Civil partnership dissolution application. Positive news for applicants came in April and in light of the feedback from the consultation, they decided to not increase the divorce application fee at this time and the fee remains at £593.00.

The consolations response was “The government acknowledges that as an ‘enhanced’ fee, divorce is high in comparison to other fees related to proceedings in the family courts. Protecting access to justice is of paramount importance and the government has carefully considered the affordability concerns raised during the consultation period, including the risk that an increase to the divorce fee could deter people (particularly women and those in abusive relationships) from bringing applications to court, therefore remaining in unhappy relationships.

That said according to the Ministry of Justice, court fee increases are crucial for maintaining adequate resources within the courts and tribunals. Anticipated to generate between £34 million and £42 million annually, court fee increases will not only support the ongoing operations of the courts but also contribute to improving services and alleviating the burden on taxpayers and a decision was made to increase some of the court fees.

Which Court Fees will rise.

Child Court Orders will rise from £232 to £255

The fee for adoption applications or permission to apply for adoption rises from £183 to £201.

Financial order applications lacking consent, the fee will rise from £275 to £303.

Financial consent orders is to rise from £53 to £58.

Importantly, for those on a lower income or receiving state benefits, the ‘Help With Fees’ service remains available to potentially reduce fees partially or completely.

The Government website has a full breakdown of all the fee changes.

It’s important to note that court fees have remained unchanged since 2021. Although adjustments are necessary to keep pace with rising costs while enhancing service quality it was decided that the rise in some of the court fees would have a negative impact . Additionally, the increased revenue will help subsidize the costs associated with the free services offered by the family courts, ensuring that essential legal support remains accessible to all.

It is also worth mentioning that for cases currently in the Family court system, there will be no change in fees. However, for those planning to make a Court application from April onwards, it’s important to be aware of these updates.

If you need any assistance with a family court enquiry please do not hesitate to contact us.

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