Stowe Family Law Senior Partner Marilyn Stowe has condemned the government’s proposed increase in divorce fees.
Mrs Stowe’s Divorce and Family Law blog broke the news that the increase was going ahead while most media outlets were focused on George Osborne’s Budget speech.
Starting next week (21 March), courts will charge £550 to process a couple’s divorce. This represents a 34 per cent increase from the previous fee of £410. This rise will even affect couples who settle their differences through mediation outside of a courtroom.
The actual administrative cost for a divorce is only £270 so this increase means that, from next week, the government will make almost £300 in profit from each one.
Marilyn Stowe said:
“From any perspective, this is an outrageous imposition on a captive audience who have little choice but to pay up. The government has essentially introduced a misery tax.
I would advise that anyone looking to file for divorce should, if possible, do so this week. Otherwise they face the prospect of being slapped with a bill £140 larger than they were expecting. This will hit many lower income earners the hardest, many of whom have no adequate access to legal representation since the abolition of legal aid for the majority of family law cases.
The government is apparently determined to continue its systematic destruction of the English legal system.”
Marilyn Stowe is available for interview to discuss the issue. If interested, she can be reached on the following numbers:
(During office hours) 01423 532 600
(Outside office hours) 07860 920192
Stowe Family Law is the UK’s largest specialist family law firm, with eight offices across Yorkshire, Cheshire, Hertfordshire and London.