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Proposed family proceedings court fee reform 15/04/2021

On 22nd March 2021, the Ministry of Justice began a consultation on its proposal for the increase of selected court fees in the Civil and Family courts, including court fees that relate to ending a marriage or civil partnership, formal separation, private law child arrangements, and division of joint financial assets.

  • Divorce, nullity or dissolution of civil partnership: rise from £550 to £592
  • Decree nisi, conditional order or separation order (only if defended): rise from £50 to £54
  • Financial order: rise from £255 to £275
  • Parental order: rise from £215 to £232
  • Parental responsibility: rise from £215 to £232
  • Change of child's surname: rise from £215 to £232

This equates to a rise in fees of around 8% that reflect inflation rates since 2016, the year fees last rose. The government estimates that income from fees accounts for less than half the costs of running the courts and tribunals system, and that the increased fees will reduce the taxpayer subsidy of the remaining costs.

Under the proposal, inflationary uplifts backdated to 2016 would also be applied to Help with Fees scheme, raising the income threshold below which someone can receive whole or partial fee remission. The proposed changes to the thresholds are as follows:

  • A single person: rise from £1,085 to £1,165 per month before tax
  • A couple: rise from £1,245 to £1,335 per month before tax
  • A couple with two children: rise from £1,735 to £1,865 per month before tax.

If adopted, the increased fees are estimated to result in up to £17m per year of additional funding for the HM Courts & Tribunals Service.

The consultation closes on 17th May 2021, with a response due to be published by the Ministry of Justice in July 2021.

For further information and advice on this issue, and other family law issues, please contact us for a free initial consultation on 01992 306 616 or 0207 956 2740 or email us.

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Manor Law Ltd, trading as Manor Law Family Solicitors, is a registered company in England and Wales - number 07977350, and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority - Hertford office SRA number 567506 and City of London office SRA number 568637. Copyright © Manor Law, 2016. All rights reserved.

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