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On 22 March 2021, the Ministry of Justice opened a consultation in respect of increasing selected Court fees for the first time since 2016. The consultation also proposes to increase the income threshold for eligibility for Help with Fees, which will see more people becoming eligible for assistance with fees.
The proposed increase is in line with inflation, backdated to 2016 (as this was the last time most fees were increased) and sees Court fees increasing by around 8% across the board.
The proposal will affect 133 Court fees including the following Family Court fees:
The consultation ends on 17 May 2021 and, if approved, will come into force late September this year.
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 (last year, HMCTS received a net fee income of £724million and faced running costs of £2bn running costs) Any increase in Court fees ultimately reduces the taxpayer funding required.
View the full list of Court fees and further details of the consultation here.
Although this is still in consultancy stages, as there has not been an increase in 5 years the family team at Ramsdens feel that the increase is likely to take effect and would therefore urge those contemplating divorce or other Court proceedings to factor into any decisions they may make the possibility of an increase in Court fees and issue sooner rather than later, in order to ensure certainty of lower Court fees. A decision to issue any court proceedings thought should never be taken lightly and it is always sensible to speak to a Solicitor prior to any proceedings being issued. If you would like to speak with a member of our Family team then please call on 08000 147720 or send us an email to book a free information session. We still offer our 30 minute free consultation, which can take place via telephone or video call.