We can all breathe a sigh of relief as the Government has confirmed that it will not increase the court fee payable to issue divorce proceedings. The current court fee of £410 was set to increase to £750. The response to the government's consultation on the increase of this fee highlighted the disproportionate impact it would have particularly on women, which remains the larger gender group to petition for divorce. Thankfully, the Government has accepted that the proposed increase was not justified, given that the cost of an undefended divorce was less than the current court fee.
However, this does not apply to court fees payable in civil proceedings. Increases in civil fees will impact on a vast proportion of hard-working individuals, who may be on low income, but their earnings might take them just above the income limits set by the Government. The result? It will be increasingly difficult to go to court to seek justice.
The Government’s consultation for increase in civil fees is still underway, so watch this space.