Divorce court fee going up to £550!
The cost of getting divorced is set to rise with the divorce court issue fee, under Government plans, increasing later in the year from £410 to £550, an increase of £140. Previous plans proposed it increasing to £750, an 80% increase, but ministers have not gone ahead with the full increase. Court fees for other applications are also to rise and dozens of courts are due to close as part of major changes.
Courts minister Shailesh Vara said; “We recognise that fee increases are not popular but they are necessary if we are to deliver our promises to fix the economy and bring the nation into surplus. At every stage we have sought to protect the most vulnerable by ensuring they will not have to pay new and higher fees and by making the remissions scheme more generous. We have also sought to ensure that those who can afford to – such as wealthy individuals or large corporations making very high money claims – will make a bigger contribution. Every pound we collect from these fee increases will be spent on providing an efficient and effective system of courts and tribunals.”
The shadow justice minister Andy Slaughter said that it showed a contempt, both for court users and Parliament, but Mr Vara responded by saying that the courts and tribunals service costs £1 billion more a year to run than it receives in income.
The changes will make getting divorced more expensive for most people whilst a minority on a low income may qualify for a fee remission. There will no doubt be a rush of divorce petitions, over the next few months, issued in advance, to avoid the £140 increase.