Slater and Gordon Lawyers review the proposed 34% increase in divorce fees and the possible impact such a dramatic rise in fees could have on couples and families across England and Wales.
Since 2013 UK Government Ministers have been increasing court fees in order to make courts become self-financing as opposed to being funded by taxpayer’s money. So far this has seen court fees increase by 600%. And now, in order to raise revenue from divorce fees in England and Wales further, there are proposals for further increases in divorce fees.
The suggestion is for divorce court fees to be £550. Divorce court fees currently stand at £410, but, according to The Times, this service only costs £270.
Possible Effects of Increased Divorce Fees
Whilst the 34% increase in divorce fees could help decrease the burden on taxpayers there are also some possible negative side effects.
A sharp increase in divorce fees might impact on people’s access to justice with some unable to afford to pay the necessary fees in order to get divorced. This could mean that people have to remain in unhappy marriages, which would have a negative impact on their wellbeing and the upbringing of any children they might have.
Slater and Gordon Senior Family Law Solicitor Sarah Thompson said, “With clients already struggling financially, this is an additional burden. We see people trying to divorce without a solicitor and they come to us when it goes wrong; this often results in us having to apply to withdraw the petition they filed and reissuing a new correctly drafted petition. The client then ends up paying a further court fee of £155 to withdraw the petition and another £410 to reissue a new one.”
Divorce can be stressful and expensive. That is why it is important to use a Divorce Solicitor who will keep your costs manageable, deal with your case in an efficient and compassionate manner and can communicate clearly with you.