A series of family law fees are set to increase by 8% across the board, if proposals presented by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) are passed.
If implemented, fees for divorce applications, nullification, civil partnership dissolution, parental order applications and family court hearings will increase in September or October 2021.Claire Holland – Holland Family Law
In an effort to fund services, the UK government is set to increase family law fees across several jurisdictions for the first time in five years. The Ministry of Justice recently opened a consultation on plans to increase fees by roughly 8% – including at the Court of Protection, according to The Law Gazette.
Fees are expected to be increased in line with inflation. The fee increases are expected to raise an extra £17 million per year for HM Courts and Tribunals, reducing the burden on the Treasury to fund the family court system in particular.
Family court and tribunal fees
According to the proposal presented by the MoJ, family court and tribunal fees accounted for a net income of £724 million in 2019/20. However, the cost to run services totalled £2 billion. The MoJ’s proposal states: “Like other government departments, the Ministry of Justice has a responsibility to assess its costs and deliver savings to reduce the cost to the taxpayer.”
“Fees are a major source of income for the MoJ and any increases to fees ultimately reduce taxpayer funding required,” the proposal paper says.
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When will new family law fees come into effect?
If approved, increases in family law fees will come into effect in late September or early October 2021. 133 types of fees are expected to increase across family law and civil law combined. However, tribunal fees, probate application fees and fees for judicial reviews in civil courts will be excluded from fee increases.
Family law fee increases you need to know about
In the area of family law, a number of fee increases are expected, with fees for divorce, marriage nullification and civil partnership dissolution applications rising from £550 to £592, representing a £42 increase.
Meanwhile, an application for a parental order will increase from £215 to £232 – a £17 increase. An application for a financial order will cost an extra £20, rising from £255 to £275.
A full list of changes to family law fees can be found here.
Why you need to know
Increases in family law fees make it more important to be prepared for your case. Whether you’re filing for divorce or making an application for a financial order, mistakes on your application can cause delays and end up costing you more.
That’s why you should instruct a qualified Family Lawyer to help you, ensuring that all the necessary paperwork is completed correctly and your case is properly prepared.
It’s also important to engage with a family lawyer such as Claire Holland through the divorce process in order to ensure you get what you are due financially. I didn’t get proper legal advice and ended up losing around £350K! Now, that’s costly!ASM – Northamptonshire