It doesn’t seem very long ago that the divorce court fee increased from £340 to £410. The legal profession let out a communal gasp of exasperation when recently told by the Ministry of Justice that the court fee was to rise again to £550. Other court fees have also increased but it seems the fee to start a divorce has been singled out for a well above inflation 25% increase.
The fact that solicitors were given very little notice of this means that many clients who were budgeting for a fee of £410 were then told that they had to find a further £140 just to start the process.
What adds insult to injury is the fact that it has been established that the actual cost to the court system of an average divorce is £275. This means the courts are making a 100% profit on every divorce.
Solicitors have made the point that this increase in the court fee for divorce unjustly penalises the less well-off and people on low incomes may be denied the ability to end unhappy marriages.
At South West Family Law, we do our best to ensure people of all incomes can have access to good quality legal services in family law matters. We offer a fixed fee of £300 plus VAT for an uncontested divorce plus the court fee. The peculiar end result however is that the Government gets paid more than twice than this firm does for a divorce (£610 including VAT compared to £300)!