Could you be exempt from paying court fees?
Divorce court fees and fee remission information
Divorce can be very expensive, but did you know that many could actually be exempt or be entitled to reduced court fee payments through a scheme called “court fee remission”.
This is why, where possible, it’s always best to put some thought into who is going to be the petitioner in your divorce case.
The petitioner is the person who is filing for divorce. They are also the one who has to pay the court fees currently amounting to £550.
However, not everyone has to pay the court fees and this is why its best to look at both parties’ life and income to see if either may be exempt.
What is court fee remission?
Court fee remission is simply the system of fee waivers and reductions that you may be entitled to. You may be fully exempt from any court fees or you may be entitled to a reduction from the standard fee.
So who is exempt from paying court fees?
Anyone that is on a low income or is on any of the following benefits may be exempt:
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Income Support
- Universal Credit (and you earn less than £6,000 a year)
- Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit)
- Scottish Civil Legal Aid (not Advice and Assistance, or Advice by Way of Representation)
What classes as low income?
Even if you are not on any of the above benefits you may still be exempt from paying full court fees depending on how much you earn.
If you are single, you need to earn less than £1,085 a month before tax. This amount increases to £1,245 before tax if you are living with a partner.
If you have children you can earn an extra £245 per child per month.
Are savings taken into account?
You should be aware that any savings you have will be taken into consideration when deciding whether you obtain remission or not.
You need to have less than £3,000 in savings and investments if under 61 years old.
You can have up to £16,000 in savings if your fee is between £1,000 and £10,000, or if you or your partner are 61 and over.
How to apply for court fee remission?
If you think you may be entitled to court fee remission there are forms that you need to fill out and send to the court. These forms are called EX160 forms and can be found online at Gov.UK or at your local courthouse.
Ensure that you fill everything out correctly otherwise it may lengthen an already lengthy divorce process.
Avoiding the full divorce court fee of £550 is a good first step in reducing the costs of your divorce.
To help reduce divorce costs even more we have a number of packages that are aimed at saving you money. Using our services you can save over £750 when compared to using a local solicitor.