Although the fee rise will come into effect on Monday 21st March local family solicitors only formally heard about the rise today by social media meaning that there is no time to advise new clients or give people the change to avoid the scandalous increase from £410 to £550.
What makes it worse is the £410 court fee itself was a significant increase only two years ago.
There simply cannot be a justification for these charges in a court process that is almost entirely administrative and where the attendance of any parties at court is now extremely rare. This is no longer about courts covering their costs this is a Tax on divorce that will unfortunately hit people when they are most vulnerable.
At £550 the court fee will now almost certainly out strip solicitors costs for most, if not all divorces, which cannot be justified given the level of work undertaken by the solicitor against that of the court.
If the government are going to demand these costs where no alternative option is available it should at least listen to people and offer them a ‘no blame’ option on divorce.