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Understanding The Increase In Family Court Fees

The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has confirmed a 10% increase in family court fees. In this article Vanessa Friend, a Partner in the Family Law department, considers the changes.

This is the first increase in court fees for the family court since 2021. The MOJ has said the changes will come into effect this month although an exact date has not been announced. After a period of consultation with interested parties, the MOJ decided a 10% increase was required in order to maintain the current service provided by the family court and deliver improvements. The MOJ’s approach is to make court users cover the cost of the court system rather than taxpayers.

The MOJ took into account the cost of living crisis and the risk of people not being able to access justice. As a result, the increase is less than the 17.8% rise in the consumer prices index.

The MOJ said:

“The government is committed to protecting access to justice for all, and we recognise that the cost of living has had a significant impact on many individuals and businesses. That is why we have chosen to minimise the financial impact of fee increases on court and tribunal users by ensuring that fee increases only reflect a partial increase to CPI. The Help with Fees (HwF) remissions scheme is also available for those with lower financial means who are unable to afford a court fee”

There will be no increase in the cost of applying for a divorce or civil partnership dissolution which will remain £593. The MOJ said it did not want to deter individuals in “unhappy relationships” from bringing an application.

A full breakdown of the fees can be found on the Government’s website.

Some of the key changes include:

ApplicationOld FeeNew Fee
Child Arrangements Order (an order regarding the living arrangements for children)£232£255
Specific Issue Order (an order on a specific question about how a child should be brought up)£232£255
Prohibited Steps Order (an order stopping the other parent from making a decision about a child’s upbringing)£232£255
Special Guardianship Order (an order for a child to live with an appointed special guardian)£232£255
Financial application (an application made when a separating couple cannot agree the finances on divorce/dissolution)£275£303
A financial order by consent£53£58

Getting Legal Advice

Our team of Family Law Solicitors can guide you through the court process and advise on a full range of applications including Children law and Financial matters. Please call us on 0330 822 3451 or request a callback.

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