Government decides against increasing divorce fee by 10%

After a public consultation, the government has decided to halt proposed divorce fee hikes, maintaining them at £593. Concerns raised in public consultation highlighted potential barriers to justice, particularly for women.

The Government has decided against increasing divorce fees by 10% as initially proposed. The decision comes after a public consultation in which concerns were expressed that higher fees could lead to some couples being trapped in an unhappy or abusive marriage. Divorce application fees will now remain at £593.

In its response to the consultation, the Ministry of Justice said: “Consultation respondents raised concerns about the impact of a higher fee on access to justice and particularly on women, as they were more likely to apply for divorce than men.

“They stated that women tend to face more difficulties when navigating the justice system as they may have caring responsibilities and are statistically more likely to be on lower incomes given the gender pay gap.

“Some respondents also argued that the fee is already too high and that many couples would be obliged to stay in unhappy or abusive relationships because they would not be able to afford the fee.

“Several respondents also highlighted that applying for a divorce is a distress purchase for many, and that those who want to end their marriage have no choice but to go through the courts.

 “In light of the feedback from the consultation, we have decided to not increase the divorce application fee at this moment.”

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