Exemption from court fees


Your eligibility for exemption from court fees will depend on the different factors explained below, including any benefits you receive, your current income and any savings or investments you have.

Please note, in order to obtain this court fee exemption, the EX160a application form will need to be sent to the court along with your petition. We will assess your eligibility based on the information we ask from you, and if we are then confident that you will not need to pay the full £550 court fee, we will attach this application form, already filled in at no added cost, to the documents requiring your signature that we will be sending to you.

You should be aware that even if you most likely won't need to pay the court fee, you will still be required to send the cheque made out to the court to us along with the documents you will be signing and returning. This is because it will be the court, not us, deciding whether to grant you full or part exemption from the £550 fee, and therefore the court will not consider your divorce petition unless this is attached.

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Benefits

If you receive one of the following benefits, you could be entitled to exemption from the court fee.

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income support
  • Universal credit
  • Pension credit
  • Scottish Civil Legal Aid

Income

If you are not on one of these benefits, you will need to be earning no more than £1084 a month before tax if you’re single, or £1244 a month if you have a partner with whom you share an income.

You can earn an extra £245 a month, that is in addition to the monthly £1084 or £1244, for each child that you have.
Treated as single?
In relation to exemption from court fees, during the divorce process you and your spouse can be treated as single, but if you already have a new partner and are sharing incomes this will affect your exemption.

Savings

In order to apply for exemption, you cannot have any more than £3,000 in savings and investments if you’re under the age of 61. If you or your partner are over the age of 61, you are allowed up to £16,000 in savings and investments.