FEE REMISSION

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Fee Remissions and Exemptions

The court fee to make a divorce application is currently £550 and is payable to and administered by HM Courts and Tribunal Service.

Fee remission is available for those individuals on lower incomes. If you are in receipt of benefits you are likely to get help with fee’s.

The fee remission system allows access to court and tribunal services free of charge ( a full remission) or at a reduced rate (a part remission) to those individuals who qualify.

1. Where to Start?

Check that you qualify – there are 2 tests, you must meet both:

Test 1

Test 1

Savings & Investments

< £3,000

(or < 16,000 if over 61)

more info

Test 2

Test 2 – either:

Benefits – Receiving certain benefits = “no fee to pay”

see list

Test 2 – or:

Total Monthly income:

< £1085 (single, no children)

< £1980 (couple, 3 children)

“no fee to pay”

 

Between £1085 – £2,185 (single, no children)

Between £1980 – £3,080 (couple, 3 children)

“reduced fee to pay”

 

Full details

2. Apply Online

You have checked that you meet both tests (above), the next step is to apply for “fee remission” (help with fees) online:

You’ll need to have:

– Your National Insurance number

– The court form name: This is “D8” (the divorce application form)

The online form can be accessed via the following page:

https://www.gov.uk/get-help-with-court-fees

You will be given a “HWF” reference number – take a note of this as you will need to add it to your divorce application form D8.

You application should be processed within 5 working days.

3. Start Your Divorce Application with “DivorceBox”

Let us complete your divorce application form for you, select the service you want, and give us your “HWF” reference number when submitting your details.

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1. Do I qualify?

The fee remission system has two tests.

The first test assesses your households savings & investments, this is the amount that you and your partner (if you have one) have in savings, shares, investments etc.

If you pass the first test, the second test looks at your total monthly income (before tax and deductions).

You will have to pass both tests to be eligible for a fee exemption (no fee to pay) or remission (reduced fee to pay).

Savings & Investments (The first test)

Household “Savings & Investments” refers to the value of savings, investments and other assets that you and your partner (if you have one) have on the date that the application is made.

It does not include wages or any benefits that you receive.

 

Ex-spouses/ Ex-civil partners

If you are making a divorce application (proceedings with a contrary interest) you should NOT include the value of your ex-spouses/civil partners “savings & investments” or any “savings & investments” held jointly by you and your ex-spouse/ex-civil partner (ie: joint savings) in this calculation.

 

New partners (if you are living together)

If you have a new partner and you are living together, as if you were married or in a civil partnership, or living at the same address and rely on a joint income (both persons wages/income) to pay household expenses then you should include both persons “savings & investments” in your calculation.

 

What are Savings & Investments?

Examples of savings & investments include but are not limited to:

  • ISA’s
  • Fixed rate bonds
  • Market rate investment bonds
  • Any other form of saving account
  • Any type of redundancy capital received
  • Stocks and shares
  • Second Homes
  • Trust funds
  • Disposable capital held outside of the UK
  • Any capital financial product

Exclusions

The following should not be included in any calculation for savings & investments:

Click for List
  • Bereavement Payment
  • Self employed businesses
  • Criminal Injuries Compensation
  • First Home (the one you live in)
  • Home contents
  • Independent living funds
  • Insurance contracts (the cash value of)
  • Jobseekers back to work bonus
  • Lump sum payments made on illness, disability or death from insurance or endowment policies (all other insurance/ endowment payments are considered)
  • Medical negligence and personal injury awards/payments
  • The cash value of personal or occupational pensions schemes
  • Student loans and student grants
  • Tools and implements of trade
  • Sure start maternity grants
  • Trust funds and other funds available that you and your partner cannot access or receive advances from
  • Unfair dismissal awards
  • Vehicles the sale of which would leave you and your partner (if you have one)without transport.
  • If you pass the thresholds for the “Savings & Investments” test you can continue to the “Total Monthly Income” test.

    “Savings & Investments” Thresholds

    Under 61's - £3000

    If you and your new partner (if you have one) are under 61 years old, the “savings & investments” tests varies according to the amount of fee that you are paying.

    For divorce applications the fee is currently £550 (within the £1000 bracket) therefore the “savings & investments” threshold is £3000. With the result that if you have savings and investments in excess of £3000 you are not eligible for a fee remission regardless of your monthly income or weather you receive benefits.

    Over 61's - £16'000

    If you or your new partner (if you have one) are over 61 years old there is a single “savings & investments” threshold of £16’000. Therefore if your savings & investments are in excess of £16’000 you are not eligible for fee remission.

    If you pass the “savings & investemtns” test i.e. have less than £3000 (under 61’s) and less than £16’000 (over 61’s), then the second test will assess your total monthly income. This refers to your income before tax and other deductions. You have to pass both tests to be eligible for a fee remission.

    Total Monthly Income (the second test)

    Total monthly income is defined as you and your partners (if you have one) total monthly income from any and all sources before any deductions such as tax have been made. This can include, but is not limited too, wages, benefits, money received from rental properties, monies received from relatives, selling goods publicly (ebay/gumtree/car-boot) and privately.

    Benefits:

    Full Remission: Remission for those in receipt of benefits

    You will receive a full remission of the court fee if you receive one of the benefits listed below:

    • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
    • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
    • Income Support
    • Universal Credit – with a gross (before tax and deductions) annual earnings of less that £6000
    • State Pension – Guarantee Credit

     

     

    Monthly Income:

    Full/Partial Remissions

    You will receive a full remission if you and your new partners (if you have one) total monthly income is below the threshold shown in the table below (table 1).

    Table 1 – Full Remission

    Gross Monthly Income:Single PersonCouple
    No Children1,0851,245
    One Child1,3301,490
    Two Children1,5751,735

    Add £245 for each additional child

    Monthly income includes wages, benefits (if not excluded, see above), interest from savings and income from any and all sources for the month, before tax and other deductions.

    If your total monthly income exceeds the above thresholds (table 1) you are not eligible for a full remission but you may be eligible for a part remission (pay a reduced fee).

    If you and your new partners (if you have one) total monthly income is below the total monthly income threshold amounts shown below (table 2) you may still qualify for a partial remission.

    Please Note: That this table includes figures to be taken into consideration for ‘all’ proceedings in England and Wales some of which have much larger fee’s than a divorce application, hence the large income bracket. This will not affect your calculation in respect of a divorce application remission.

    Table 2 – Partial Remission

    Gross Monthly Income:Single PersonCouple
    No Children5,0855,245
    One Child5,3305,490
    Two Children5,5755,735

    Add £245 for each additional child

    How do I calculate my partial remission

    The rule is that for every £10 of income you receive above the threshold amounts listed in table 1 you will be required to pay £5 towards your court or tribunal fee – known as a part remission.

    The charts below show the expected contributions* that you will have to make towards your fee depending on your total monthly income and number of children.

    *Please Note: These charts are for graphic purposes only.

    You should calculate the contribution that you will need to make independently, using the fee remission calculator at: https://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/forms/hmcts-fees/ex160ceng.xls

    fee remission charts

     

     

    Download the court fee remission forms for free:

    As well as applying online (see above), you can also apply with the paper fee remission (help with fees) form, simply complete the form and send this together with your divorce application.

    Free - Court fee remission forms

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    Court Fee Remission Form

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    DivorceBox, updated on February 10, 2017

    Divorcebox Ltd - Registered company number 9750076 in England

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