Increase in Family Court Fees
The Government has announced that from 30 September 2021 a selected number of court fees will be increased and Help with Fees income thresholds will also increase in line with inflation.
Court fees in England and Wales were last increased in March 2016. As such, the Ministry of Justice held a consultation between March 2021 and May 2021 to determine whether or not court fees should be increased and by how much. This was not a welcomed changed and 61% of responses disagreed with the Government’s proposal. Many query how the Government can justify an increase in light of the delays and widely recognised failings in the Court system. Further details about the response to the consultation can be found here.
Notwithstanding this resistance, the Government has decided to implement the increase and relies on the fact that HMCTS is far from profiting from court fees as in 2019/2020 there was a net fee income of £724m against £2 billion running costs. Further, the Government justifies the increase to be in line with historic inflation.
In the past, the Family Courts have managed to avoid a change in court fees, however, this time they have been affected. The court fees that have increased include:-
- Application (petition) for a divorce, nullity or civil partnership dissolution has increased from £550 to £592;
- Application for a parental order to include but not limited to a Child Arrangements Order, parental responsibility or financial provision for children has increased from £215 to £232;
- Application for a financial order, other than by consent has increased from £255 to £275;
- Application for a financial order by consent or a decree of judicial separation has increased from £50 to £54; and
- General application on notice to the Court (i.e. Part 25 Application) has increased from £155 to £167.
In relation to issuing injunction proceedings, such as an application for a Non-Molestation Order or Occupation Order, there will continue to be no fee payable.
Further details about the increase in fees can be found here.
In addition to a change in court fees, the monthly income threshold for those that seek help with court fees under the Help with Fees remissions scheme will change from £1,085 to £1,170 for a single person and from £1,245 to £1,345 for a couple.
How can we help?
If you have any questions in relation to the increase in court fees or require legal advice in relation to the following:-
- Matrimonial finances
- Matters concerning your children
- Injunction proceedings (Protection for victims of Domestic Abuse)