Posted by Patrick Hart, Partner
On 1 September 2016 Withy King LLP merged with Royds LLP. The trading name for the merged firm is Royds Withy King. All content produced prior to this date will remain in the name of the firms pre-merger.
Plans to double divorce fees ditched
Proposals to nearly double the fees for filing a divorce have been dropped by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), following criticism from a number of family law specialists and member of the judiciary.
Last year the Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, outlined plans for a £340 increase in the cost of filing a divorce, from £410 to £750.
A public consultation suggested divorcing couples “would be prepared to pay considerably more than the cost of the petition in order to secure the legal dissolution of their marriage”.
However, the proposal to increase fees was met with heavy criticism from the legal profession and the family law organisation, Resolution, who said that the increase would leave people trapped in unhappy marriages and would not be in the best interests of children.
They were joined by the Judiciary of England and Wales, who objected to the increase as it would be a “significant impediment to access to justice”.
The Judiciary also said that, because most divorce petitioners are women, the proposal could be “indirectly discriminatory”.
The fee change would have increased the income of the Civil and Family Courts by £30 million per annum, but in the wake of the criticism the MoJ confirmed it would drop the contentious proposals.
The increases had originally been considered as part of a package of measures to increase the cost of court appearances in England and Wales. The Government had justified the tactics, arguing the expense should not fall on “hardworking taxpayers”.
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