The introduction of the Court Fees (Miscellaneous Amendments) Order 2021 which will increase certain Court fees for the first time since 2016 will come into force on 30th September 2021. The Court fees are increasing by around 8% to come in line with inflation.
The following increases will have effect:-
A full list of the Family Court fees increases can be found here at the Court Fees (Miscellaneous Amendments) Order 2021 (legislation.gov.uk).
There is currently no fee for applying for a Non-Molestation or Occupation Order and there are no plans to charge a fee.
The Government has confirmed that the additional income generated from the increases will go towards the running costs of HMCTS.
It is not all bad news though as the income threshold for eligibility for Help with Fees is also increasing. The Help with Fees remission scheme is in place to assist those who are in receipt of certain benefits or on a lower income. This will mean more people will be able to obtain assistance with their Court fees. For a single person, who is not claiming benefits, the monthly income threshold to be eligible for Help with Fees will increase from £1,085 to £1,170.
During the consultation period, more than half of the respondents disagreed with the increase arguing that due to Covid-19 now was not the right time to raise Court fees as it may reduce access to justice. Others felt that the increases are unjustified due to the quality of service of HMCTS.
At Holmes & Hills, we have found that the digitalisation of HMCTS has improved the significant delays that we were facing before in dealing with divorce or consents order when applying to the Court in paper format. As of 13th September 2021 all divorce cases are now being dealt with online.
If you require any initial expert legal advice about divorce, separation or children matters, please contact Holmes & Hills Solicitors and speak to a member of the family team who will be able to arrange an appointment.