The court fee to start divorce proceedings was increased on Monday 21 March from £410 to £550.
This change comes quickly after the previous increase in July 2013, when the fee rose to £410 from £340.
In spite of criticism from a number of key family law commentators, Shailesh Vara MP (Minister for the Courts and Legal Aid) has insisted that the new fee represents a ‘more affordable increase’.
Senior Family judges have commented (as reported in The Times) that there is ‘something unappetising about the state making a growing profit on a legal necessity and a source of unhappiness for many people’. Dissatisfaction has also been voiced by Resolution, the leading organisation of family law practitioners, who have remarked in a recent press release that ‘divorce is not a ‘choice to litigate’–it’s a necessary part of the legal process to bring a relationship to an end’.
The President of the Law Society of England and Wales, Jonathan Smithers has expressed his disappointment in similar terms, stressing that the increases to court fees ‘may render ordinary people’s legal rights meaningless’.
With these latest fee increases it is even more important to obtain specialist legal advice in relation to the financial implications of divorce. Our divorce solicitors have substantial expertise in all aspects of divorce and children matters. If you think you could benefit from their advice, just call 0161 969 3131