Negative response prompts government to scrap divorce fee increase

Divorce|January 19th 2015

The government has scrapped plans to increase divorce fees following a consultation on the issue.

Initial plans would have seen the cost of filing for divorce almost double. Currently, filing for divorce costs £410, but the proposal would have seen that rise to £750.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) announced the change in a recently published response to the consultation. They also noted that, while the current fees exceed the costs of proceedings, the government did not think a reduction could be justified.

The consultation found that most people objected to such a significant increase in costs. Respondents argued that “enhanced fees were wrong in principle” because the civil court system was “essential to a democratic society and should not generate a surplus”.

Other respondents said that the proposed increase would “deter people from seeking a divorce” and couple potentially trap people “in unhappy or violent marriages” if they could not afford the fee.

An uncontested divorce only costs the court £270 each. This means that, at the current price, the government makes a £140 profit from each divorce, and this adds up to £16.8 million every year.

To read the full response to the consultation, click here.

Photo by Jim Larrison via Flickr

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