Following a consultation which attracted a high level of criticism, the Government has now decided to drop its proposal to increase the court fee to apply for a divorce. The Government had originally proposed to raise the court fee from £410 to £750.
The Respondents who took part in the consultation did not agree with the Government’s proposal, the main reasons advanced were that
- There was no compelling justification for the increase in the court fee;
- the fee was excessive and would deter people from seeking a divorce, resulting in people being trapped in unhappy or violent marriages or preventing people from forming new relationships which benefitted from the full protection of the law;
- it was wrong in principle to seek to increase the costs of court proceedings associated with the breakdown of a family relationship;
- some people would not be able to pay for the increased court fee;
- it was potentially discriminatory as more women than men sought a divorce, and it would therefore have a disproportionate impact on women.
In view of the response to the consultation and the level of criticism from the respondents, the Government will not implement the proposed increase to the divorce fee, which will be maintained at £410.
If you would like further advice in connection with a family law matters please contact Miss Vincent in our family department on 01926 422 101.