Divorce proceedings fee set to rise by one third to £550 later in 2015

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has announced plans to increase the divorce petition fee by one third from its existing £410 to £550. The fee hike will be introduced by the end of 2015 following a period of consultation.

Whilst this is quite an increase, the MoJ had planned to lift the fee by 80% to £750 but backed down after this was heavily criticised. It is unlikely to stem the tide of divorce cases in England & Wales although it does place additional pressure on low income couples who already have no rights to legal aid funding (with the exception of mediation matters).

The same fee applies to applications for a decree of nullity or, in the context of civil partnership, for a dissolution order or nullity order. There will also be, amongst other changes, a general uplift of 10% to a wide range of fees in civil proceedings.

A date for implementation of the new fee has yet to be confirmed.