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Vulnerable will be hit hardest by new divorce tax

Divorce applicants with a low income could be refused their legal right to separation, writes Paul Hunt

12 April 2016

With divorce fees now at an all-time high, it is necessary to question whether this substantial - and rather sudden - financial hike could cause a reduction in the number of divorce cases proceeding through our legal system.

To begin the challenging process of divorce, applicants must now pay a £550 court fee, which amounts to a 34 per cent increase. This has been costed in accordance with new rules by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), a decision which has not been well received by the family law community.

The criticism stems not only from a succession of doubts questioning whether there is a tangible need for the excessive rise, but also from the manner in which the new rules were revealed. Family lawyers only learnt of the increase from emails sent by divorce units, which referenced the increase just days before they took effect.

This demonstrates an appal...

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