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Resolution warns against higher fees for divorcing couples

Jo Edwards, the Chair of family law organisation Resolution has told MPs that the proposed steep rise in divorce fees would constitute a ‘tax on divorce’ and could not be justified in relation to the actual cost of proceedings.

Speaking at a House of Commons justice committee hearing on court fees, she pointed out that other court users have a choice about whether to go to court and pay the associated fees, whereas divorcing couples would have to pay the higher fee - even if they opt for mediation to avoid court.

When compared to the administrative cost of the divorce process, which works out to be around £270, the proposed £550 fee represents a lot more profit than cost. The fee to start a divorce is currently £410.

Ms Edwards continued: “This is all against a backdrop of quite a rapid move in family proceedings towards a very much more administrative process […] so if anything I would expect that the cost of the divorce process is going down.”

She further warned that increasing fees could in fact waste judicial time, if it leads to additional litigation regarding which partner would pay the costs.

For more information on divorce and costs, please contact Lawson-West specialist family law solicitors Alistair Dobson oat Lawson-West, Millers House, Roman Way, Market Harborough on 01858 445 480. Alistair is a member of Resolution, and follows the organisation’s Code of Practice which promotes a non-confrontational approach to family problems.

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