The Government has announced that the Court fee associated with divorce proceedings is set to rise from £410.00 to £550.00 in England and Wales. This equates to a rise of £140.00.
The Ministry of Justice have advised that the fee increase is necessary, and will ensure that those who are rich will pay more, whilst those who are less wealthy will still be able to rely on a more generous fee remission from the Court after providing their financial information in support.
It seems that divorce fees are not the only fee increases to have been announced. The Ministry have also confirmed that there will be fee increases across the board, including those for filing applications in general and contested civil claims, issuing a possession claim, as well as doubling fees in immigration and asylum cases. Critics however believe that access to justice will be restricted from individuals and small businesses alike who are trying to recover money owed to them by third parties.
The Lord Chancellor has recently confirmed that Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) must be modernised and its efficiency improved and it seems that in order to do so, the increase in fees is the only way to generate the required funds. The rise in fees are expected to raise an extra £60 million a year.