Increase To Family Court Fees from 1st May 2024

Family Court fees are rising on the 1st May 2024 by 10%. This is the first increase since 2021, but comes at a time when many people are feeling the pinch financially.

Browell Smith and Co solicitors would always advise parties in dispute to seek to reach an agreement either through negotiation or via mediation where possible and safe to do so, Court should of course be seen as a last resort.

The fee for a Divorce petition will remain at £593.00

An application for a Financial Remedy Order will increase from £275.00 to £303.00

The fee for a Financial Consent Order will rise from £53.00 to £58.00

An application for a Child Arrangement Order will increase from £232.00 to £255.00

If you require advice and assistance in respect of any aspect of Family Law then please do not hesitate to contact the Family Team at Browell Smith and Co Solicitors.

How long does a divorce take?

In April 2022 changes to the divorce procedure were implemented. There was a lot of coverage in the media about the introduction of No Fault Divorce. Another change that perhaps was not publicised as widely was the introduction of mandatory timescales.

Once a divorce is issued by the family court a timetable starts to run. There is no such thing in law as a “quickie divorce”.

The application for a conditional order can only be made 20 weeks after the divorce is issued. This is known as a mandatory cooling-off period. The application for a final order can only be made at least 6 weeks and 1 day after the conditional order is granted.

This means a divorce cannot conclude in less than 26 weeks. In practice, it will take longer as the family court processes the applications and this can add a number of weeks onto that timescale.

What can affect the timescale of a divorce application?

The timescale can also be affected by other aspects of the case in particular negotiations regarding a financial settlement. Divorce is the dissolution of the marriage following separation but there are a number of other significant issues to consider. This includes negotiating a financial settlement. Decisions will need to be made about what happens to the family home, savings, pensions, businesses etc.

Whilst a divorce is now completed via an online process known as the divorce portal it is still a legal process involving the court and family judges. It is vital that the correct procedure is followed, and that the correct information and documents are uploaded to the portal at the appropriate time. A family law solicitor has the knowledge and experience to advise on and assist with this process from the start.

Find out more about the divorce process

Please do not hesitate to contact the Family Law team at Browell Smith & Co if you require any advice and assistance in relation to Divorce or any other family-related issues.

I have a Financial Remedy Order- what happens next?

A financial remedy order sets out the terms of a financial settlement in divorce proceedings.

Negotiation, Mediation, and Court Proceedings

An agreement may have been reached through negotiation, by attendance at mediation or following court proceedings. However, obtaining the final financial remedy order is not necessarily the end of the process.

Implementation of the Financial Remedy Order

The Order will set out details of what will happen to financial assets. There will be obligations on both parties. This might be to sell a property, to share a pension or it might be to pay a lump sum.

The terms of the Order need to be implemented.

In the majority of cases the Order is implemented without any problems. However, there is the risk that one party may stop engaging, delays responding or refuses to comply.

Firstly the financial remedy order should be drafted with as much detail as possible. This may be agreeing the choice of estate agent and conveyancer in advance. It may be setting out who is to serve the order on a pension provider and to provide clear timescales for any payments to be made.

Enforcement proceedings are a further set of family court proceedings where the Court is asked to enforce the terms of the original order by adding additional provisions to ensure compliance. If the application is successful the party who has failed to comply could also be subject to a costs order.

The original order can be varied. One party may be given sole conduct of a sale or the person in occupation of a property may be required to move out known as vacant possession.

Seeking legal advice

This is a complex process and it is important to seek legal advice as early as possible. If you require advice and assistance then please do not hesitate to contact the Family Law Team at Browell Smith & Co.

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