Can I get help with divorce court fees?
One of the biggest financial challenges facing a lot of people getting a divorce is the court fee of £593. Although there is only one court fee for each divorce, the person who applies for divorce is the person who must pay it.
What many people don’t know is these court fees can be reduced or avoided altogether if you earn less than £2,200 a month or receive benefits.
Ok, you’ve got my attention, tell me more.
To get help with your divorce court fees, you must have less than £3,000 in savings or investments if you’re younger than 61 or less than £16,000 if you are over 61.
You also either need to be on a low income or receive one of the following benefits:
- JSA – Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- ESA – Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Universal Credit (+ earn less than £6,000 a year)
- Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit)
Whether you receive the benefits or not, you don’t have to pay the court fee if you earn less than £1,170 a month before tax if you’re single, and you will be eligible for a discount if your monthly income is less than £2,200.
Take a look at the table below to see how much you are likely to pay in court fees for your divorce based on your monthly income before tax.
Is my partner’s income included when applying for help with court fees?
If you live with the person you are divorcing, you do not include their income.
However, if you live with a new partner, their income is included, although you get an additional £175 allowance.
If you have children who live with you, you get a further £265 for each child. So, for example, if you have a partner and two children, your joint household income can be £1,875, and you would be eligible for a full-court fee reduction.
And as the graphic shows, providing the other conditions are met, as a single person, with no children, you could still earn up to £2,200 a month before tax and get the fee partly reduced.
Can we get help with fees if we apply for a divorce jointly under the new no-fault law?
Yes, you can, but you both must meet the savings and low income or benefits requirements. If only one of you receives a low income, it might be better to divorce as individuals rather than a jointly.
Does that mean we can choose who applies for help with court fees to save money?
Yes, it does. In an individual divorce, the person making the application is called the applicant, and their spouse becomes the respondent. Only the applicant can apply for help with court fees. If the respondent has a lower income, they could become the applicant, saving you both money if you split the cost of your divorce.
Get help with court fees for your divorce in minutes.
I know what you are thinking. This sounds great, but how many hoops do I need to jump through and how long does it take? Surprisingly it is straightforward and extremely fast. It takes less than five minutes to apply, and you get your help with fees code instantly. All you then need to do is email the code to us at Easy Online Divorce, and we will apply it to your divorce petition. It couldn’t be easier.
Many people feel trapped in a marriage because they think they can’t afford to divorce. We speak to people daily who are surprised but delighted when they find out they don’t have to pay court fees.