Divorce fees are set to increase by a huge 34% on Monday 21 March, leaving couples no time to prepare for the increase.
The rise, which has only recently been confirmed by the government, will see court fees rapidly increase from £410 to £550 and comes despite opposition from family lawyers and others concerned throughout the UK.
Jo Edwards, the chair of Resolution, the family lawyer’s association, said: “The stealthy implementation of the hike in divorce fees …. after an increase only two years ago, is scandalous and not backed up by proper impact assessment.
As a result of the steep increase, many people currently in the process of separating will have received incorrect information as to the charge for lodging a divorce petition and, in reality, won’t have time to get their petition in before the fee increase takes effect.”
Don Bird, senior partner and head of the firm’s Family department, commented: “The £140 rise is shocking and has been rushed in without waiting for the outcome of the inquiry on court fees. As divorce has to be dealt with by the court, there is no choice about paying the fee. I would advise though that there are exemptions from the court fees for those on a low income and would encourage anyone thinking of divorcing to contact a solicitor to see if they are eligible.”
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