Court fees increase from the 1st July 2013

The initial application fee for a divorce has increased to £410.00 from £340.00, but this is partly because two separate fees have been combined into one; there is now no separate fee of £45.00 when you apply for Decree Absolute. For those wanting to resolve a child-related dispute, there has been a modest increase of 15% to the previous fee of £200.00. A similar increase has been brought in for financial disputes and court fees are now £255.00.

Since the withdrawal of legal aid for most types of family work, Court applications for child-related disputes have risen by 27%.The new Court fees will only hinder those already struggling to represent themselves further. If you do have a low income, then you may be exempt from paying the Court fees, however you will be asked by the Court to produce documentation to prove your low income.

Legal aid is still available, subject to you being eligible financially, for family mediation. Family mediation is a way of resolving disputes relating to children and money outside of Court. It offers you and your partner a way of discussing your differences in a safe and controlled environment managed by a trained mediator.

If you can't reach an agreement through mediation, don't want to mediate, or your partner/spouse won't mediate, then you may have little option but to apply to the Court to resolve your issues.

Emsleys' Family Law department offers an initial free appointment and a range of payment options to help with the cost of legal fees which enable you to remain in control of what you spend. Call 0113 201 4900 or email

Gabbie  Clasper

Written by

Gabbie Clasper

Head of Family Law

Gabbie has over 20 years’ experience in family law. She has expert knowledge in complex issues including financial aspects following divorce; pre and post-nuptial agreements; cases with an international element; and civil partnerships. Gabbie is regularly instructed by clients based across the country and abroad. She...

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