How much are the court fees for divorce?

by Philippa Pearson, family law solicitor

An excerpt from Lawpack's Separation & DIY Divorce Kit.

Here is an outline of the court fees you must pay when filing for divorce. Depending on your circumstances, you may not have to pay them. So read on to find out if you're exempt.

All of the court fees are correct as of April 2012. But they are subject to periodic change, so it's best to contact your local divorce County court. 

Check with the court staff, who will be able to confirm the current fees. Or check on Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service website at, before submitting payment.

Divorce court fees in England & Wales

  • The court fee for filing your Divorce Petition: £340
  • The court fee for obtaining your Decree Absolute: £45
  • The court fee for issuing Form A: Notice of an Application for a Financial Order: £240.

Are you exempt from paying court fees in England & Wales?

You may only have to pay a contribution towards the court fee for filing your divorce if you are on a low income.

To establish whether you qualify for a fee exemption or part contribution you must have an income below £2,530 gross per month (as at April 2012). 

To apply for exemption, you need to complete Form Ex160 and supply all of the documents required in the explanatory notes that accompany the form. 

Form Ex160 is regularly updated so do check that you have the current form. 

If you don't have all the required documents to hand (bearing in mind that the rules are strictly applied and that most original documents required must be no more than one month old), then it's possible to pay the whole fee due and to apply for a full refund at a later date provided that you do so within six months of the fee being paid.

Divorce court fees in Scotland

  • The court fee for a simplified divorce: £95.
  • Ordinary divorce: The court fee for lodging an action of divorce is £125 and there is a further fee payable for minuting the decree, currently £55.

Are you exempt from paying court fees in Scotland?

You don't need to pay the fee if you are in receipt of one of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Guarantee Credit
  • Working Tax Credit, as long as it includes Child Tax Credit disability element or severe disability element

The gross income for calculation of tax credit is £16,642 or less (as at April 2012). 

If you are exempt from payment of court fees in Scotland, you need to complete Form SP15: Application for Exemption from Payment of Court Fee.

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Published on: April 24, 2012

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