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Rate Increase for Divorce Petitions

The process of getting divorced begins with a petition, the information detailed on the petition includes the names of the couple who wish to divorce, details about their children and the reason that the marriage has broken down. As part of the 2016 budget there will be an increase of 34% in the fees required to apply for the petition.

After a consultation period it has been decided that the rate will increase from £410 to £550. These changes have been strongly opposed by family solicitors.

The increase was not communicated effectively beforehand. Solicitors only received confirmation about the changes, via email from their local court, days before the rise in the rates. The new charges are confusing for people who are thinking about, or who are in the process of separating. It is unlikely that they will have the time to complete their petitions before the rates increase.

Thoughts are that escalation in divorce fees were the easiest option to increase revenue, because in order to receive the decree absolute (confirmation that the marriage has been dissolved) the petition has to be submitted. There are other areas of family law where, had cuts been made, there would have been further implications.

The House of Commons justice select committee have undertaken an inquiry into court fees and the general feeling is that it would have been far better to wait until findings from the inquiry were published before announcing the hike in fees.

If you would like more information about divorce please contact a member of the Lawson-West Family Law team on 0116 2121080.

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Coronavirus: It is ‘Business As Usual’ at Lawson-West

We’ve made plans to continue to deliver the best service during the pandemic and we’re committed to helping clients over the coming weeks and months.

From time to time, we will be posting updates about our business operational response to the implications of the virus on our website and on our social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

For now, you can be assured that we are ‘Open for Business’ and here to help you with your legal needs. You can email your regular contact at Lawson-West and we will respond, alternatively, email or continue to browse our website at for more information about our services and how to contact us.

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Lawson-West Directors

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