Get help with court fees for divorce if you’re disabled
When filing for a divorce, the party that submits the required documents must pay the courts a fee of £550 – a significant fee, particularly when you consider that all that it covers are administrative costs and that the applicant will not receive any support from court staff in return. Fortunately,if you’re disabled, you may not need to pay this fee at all.
If you receive any of these benefits, you won’t need to pay court fees
If you’re disabled and want to file for a divorce, the easiest way to avoid the court fees is to apply for a remission on the basis that you receive certain state benefits. Anyone who receives any of the following benefits is exempt from all court fees:
- Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Income Support
- Universal Credit
- Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit)
If you receive any of the benefits listed above and have less than £3,000 in savings (this increases to £16,000 if you’re 61 or older), you will not need to pay any money to the courts when filing for a divorce.
How to avoid court fees for divorce if you receive other benefits
If you don’t receive any of the benefits listed above, you can still be exempt from the court fees if you have a low income and, if you are in receipt of Disability Living Allowance or a Personal Independence Payment it’s unlikely you’ll need to pay any fees to the court.
Anyone that files for a divorce and whose monthly income is less than £1,085 before tax is exempt from court fees and neither Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments need to be included when you calculate your monthly income. As a result, the vast majority of people who rely on disability benefits as their main form of income will be exempt from paying court fees.
Just so you know, the amount you can earn before tax and still receive a full remission increases to £1,245 if you live with your partner, though you’ll need to include their income when calculating your monthly earnings. You can also add £245 to this figure for each dependent child that lives with you.
How to reduce the court for divorce if you have a low income
Even if your monthly income is too large for a full remission, you can still have the court’s fee reduced provided it’s less than £5,085 or £5,245 if you live with your partner. Again, you can add an additional £245 to this figure for each child you have.
Once you’ve calculated your monthly income, you can work out what you’ll need to pay to the courts by deducting £1,085 (£1,245 if you live with your partner) plus £245 for each child that lives with you from it. You should then round this figure down to the nearest £10 and then divide this by two: this will be the fee you’ll need to pay the court.