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Changes to Civil Court Fees Impact on Financial Cases

Changes to Civil Court Fees Impact on Financial Cases

By Elissa Da Costa-Waldman

Court Fee changes from Monday 9th March 2015, as set out in Civil Proceedings and Family Proceedings Fees (Amendment) Order 2015, provide that the fee for issuing a divorce petition remains at £410 and that the £750 mooted earlier in the consultation process has been abandoned in recognition that this would adversely affect women, often the lower or non-earners in the family and that many people may feel compelled to remain in abusive relationships if the price of the divorce petition were too high. However, it is worth commenting that if you have little or no money, £410 is equally excessive. Nonetheless it is a positive move that the fee was not increased as proposed.

 

There are also changes to court issue fees in Civil Proceedings which rise in proportion to the amount of money claimed. This could be relevant in TLATA claims although in most of those an interest in the property is claimed which is based on its value, often not possible to quantify at the outset of proceedings. Therefore it is submitted that rather than have to work out the precise quantum of the claim in order to pay the correct court fee, if the case is intended for the multi-track (as it is submitted TLATA claims should be) the fee for issuing is £1,090 pursuant to paragraph 2 (4) of the above mentioned statutory instrument. Even where the property has been sold and the net proceeds of sale are held pending determination, the amount claimed is not yet fixed and therefore it is submitted the court fee is still £1,090.