Family Court Fees Have Increased As Of May 2024

On 1st May 2024, the fees for a range of different family court applications in England and Wales increased. The new family court fees could affect you if you are going through a child arrangements case or another family law matter. In this article, family law solicitor, Mohit Vaghela, outlines the new fees that have been proposed and what it is likely to mean for you.

Why have the family court fees been raised?

Court and tribunal fees are important because they help to fund Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunal Service (HMCTS). That’s the executive agency responsible for the administration of the courts and tribunals across England and Wales. The HMCTS in recent discussions with the government advised that they are simply not receiving enough income to preserve their service and the increase of Court fees is one method by which they can meet their ever-increasing costs.

But the income that HMCTS gets from court fees is no longer enough, even when fees are charged above cost. The last time that court fees were increased was in late 2021 and since then, the cost of subsidising these services has increased alongside the general cost of living. So the HMCTS proposed to increase some, but not all, court fees by 10% and this came into force on 1st May 2024. A range of family court fees are among those affected by the price rise.

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Which family court fees have risen?

The government’s new proposal involved increases of 10% to numerous court applications associated within family law. These include the following:

1. Application for a Child Arrangements Order (relating to living and contact arrangements for a child), Specific Issue Order and Prohibited Steps Order (granting permission for and preventing certain arrangements for a child respectively) – this fee has increased from £232 to £255;

2. Order to revoke, amend, extend, or take action following the breach of an existing Child Arrangements Order – this fee has increased from £102 to £112;

3. An enforcement order under the Children Act 1989 – this fee has increased from £232 to £255;

4. Parental Responsibility Order (where there is a need for this to be acquired by a parent/party who cares for a child) – this fee has increased from £232 to £255;

5. Application on notice for a Financial Order other than by Consent (where parties are unable to agree a financial settlement on divorce) – this fee has increased from £272 to £303;

6. Application by Consent for a Financial Order (where parties have agreed a financial settlement and simply wish to formalise it so that it is legally binding) – this fee has increased from £53 to £58;

7. General on notice applications to the Court (D11) – this fee has increased from £167 to £184;

Which family court fees remain the same?

There has been no increase in the court fees costs relating to a divorce, which currently stand at £593.

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Support and advice from Hepburn Delaney

Avoiding court altogether is always preferable, so our expert family solicitors will help you to aim for an amicable and constructive resolution wherever possible. As members of Resolution, a community of family justice professionals who aim to resolve disputes in a constructive way, we will do everything we can to help you avoid court proceedings and the associated family court fees. We can guide you through your options and help you find the quickest and most cost-efficient resolution to your family issue. Our team offers transparent fee explanations, inclusive of family court fees where this is unavoidable.

For those with low incomes or those in receipt of state benefits, the Help with Fees service may entitle you to a full or partial reduction in your court fees. We would be happy to talk you through this if necessary.

For more information about family court fees, or any aspect of family law, please contact us.