Alongside everything going on over the last 12 months, some important changes to divorce laws have come into force. Here’s a run-down of what you need to know:

Court fees

From the 30th September 2021 the court fee payable to make an application for divorce has increased from £550 to £593. The last increase took place some years ago, and one was expected in light of the implementation of the new divorce legislation.

Change in the law

The new legislation has overhauled the outdated current law for divorce. The sole ground for divorce, being that the marriage has broken down irretrievably remains. However, the new law removes the requirement to either wait or, as some may see it, apportion blame. Presently, to apply for divorce means that an application must be based on one of the following five factors:

– Adultery

– Unreasonable behaviour

– 2 years separation with consent

– 2 years desertion

– 5 years separation, no consent required

The new legislation and changes to the current rules also make the following changes:

– It will also remove the ability for a party to defend an application for divorce

– It will provide that a joint application for divorce can be made by parties to a marriage.

– It will include that service of divorce documents may be effected by email

We are promised that the court will implement the new legislation in April 2022. It is not clear however whether the court fee will increase again at that time.

No more paper applications

In the meantime, the court is doing all they can to perfect the online application process. After the 13th September 2021, all divorce applications must be made online/electronically. To assist with the transition the court will consider paper applications submitted but not yet processed up to 6th October 2021. After this time any paper applications received will be returned.

Help with fees

The court will still accept an application for help with fees. In some instances, depending upon income, the court may apply a full fee remission or a part remission in relation to the £593 court issue fee for divorce.

Other legal costs

That is something that will not change, should you require Farleys’ assistance with divorce. Farleys continue to offer fixed fee packages, where appropriate, to meet the needs of our clients.

If you require advice or assistance in relation to divorce, financial separation, children matters, or any other related family matter, then contact one of our expert solicitors today on 0845 287 0939 or contact us by email.