The Matrimonial Causes Fees Order (Northern Ireland) 1996

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Published: 1996-03-14

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Statutory Rules of Northern Ireland
1996 No. 105

The Matrimonial Causes Fees Order (Northern Ireland) 1996

14th March 1996

Coming into operation
1st April 1996

The Lord Chancellor, in exercise of the powers conferred on him by section 116(1) and (4) of the Judicature (Northern Ireland) Act 1978(1), after consultation with the Lord Chief Justice and with the concurrence of the Treasury, hereby makes the following Order:—

Citation and commencement

1.  This Order may be cited as the Matrimonial Causes Fees Order (Northern Ireland) 1996 and shall come into operation on 1st April 1996.


2.  In this Order—

(a)expressions used in the Matrimonial Causes Rules (Northern Ireland) 1981(2), have the same meaning as in those Rules;

(b)a rule referred to by number means the rule so numbered in the Matrimonial Causes Rules (Northern Ireland) 1981;

(c)“the County Court Fees Order” means the County Court Fees Order (Northern Ireland) 1996(3); and

(d)Schedules 1 and 2 mean Schedules 1 and 2 respectively to this Order.


3.  The Orders specified in Schedule 2 are hereby revoked.

Fees payable in all matrimonial proceedings

4.—(1) The fees set out in column 2 of Schedule 1 shall be payable in all matrimonial proceedings, whether in the High Court or a divorce county court, in respect of the items set out in column 1 of that Schedule.

(2) If any question arises with regard to the payment of a fee, the proper officer or the chief clerk, as the case may be, may report the matter to the Lord Chancellor and obtain his directions thereon.

(3) Where it appears to the Lord Chancellor that the payment of any fee specified in Schedule 1 would, owing to the exceptional circumstances of the particular case, involve undue hardship, he may reduce or remit the fee in that case.

Manner in which fees are to be taken

5.—(1) Subject to Article 7 the fees prescribed in Schedule 1 shall be taken in cash.

(2) Payment of the appropriate court fee shall be endorsed on the relevant document (that is, the document indicated in column 3 of Schedule 1 by mechanical means or, where this means is not available, the person to whom the fee is paid shall endorse the relevant document by writing thereon the amount and date of payment and shall sign the endorsement.

(3) Where fees are payable under this Order in respect of any item and there is no document in reference to that item on which an endorsement can be made, the person requesting the action to which the item relates shall make the request by a requisition or note in writing which shall be endorsed as to payment of the appropriate fee in accordance with paragraph (2).

Application of fees

6.  All fees received by virtue of Schedule 1 shall, unless otherwise appropriated in aid, be paid into the Consolidated Fund.

Disapplication of county court fees

7.  Fees numbered 5, 14, 17, 21, 23, 26 and 27 in Section 1 of Schedule 1 to the County Court Fees Order shall not apply to matrimonial proceedings in a divorce county court.

Mackay of Clashfern, C.
Dated 11th March 1996

We concur

Derek Conway
Simon Burns
Two of the Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty’s Treasury
Dated 14th March 1996

Article 4

SCHEDULE 1Fees to be taken in all Matrimonial Proceedings

Column 1
Column 2
Column 3

Fee £
Document to be endorsed

Commencement of Proceedings

1.  On sealing an originating summons—

The filed copy

2.  On presenting any petition other than a second petition presented with leave granted under rule 10(3)—

(a)When the petition is presented to the the High Court

The filed copy

(b)When the petition is presented to a divorce county court

The filed copy

Note: Fees to include provision for the number of initial copies required for service

Applications for Ancillary Relief

3.  On filing a notice of application for ancillary relief

The filed copy

Application concerning Children

4.  On an application for an order relating to the custody or education, access, committal to care of, or provision of supervision for, a child, except where the application is for an order by consent

The filed copy

Other Applications in Proceedings

5.  On any application in matrimonial proceedings, except where it is otherwise provided for in this Schedule, or is for an order by consent, made

(i)to a master or registrar

The filed copy

(ii)to a judge

The filed copy

Writs of Subpoena and Witness Summonses

6.  On sealing a writ of subpoena or issuing a witness summons, per person

The filed copy

Copies of documents

(i)7.  Personal Applications

(a)for a copy of all or part of any document, issued as an office copy, for each page

The requisition

(b)for a certified copy of any document per page

The requisition

(c)for a sealed and certified copy of any document per page

The requistion

(ii)Postal applications in addition to the fees at 7(i) above, for a copy of any of the documents referred to

The requisition

Searches and Inspections

8.  On a search (including inspection)

The requisition

(i)9.  For an official certificate of the result of a search in any index

The requisition

(ii)Postal applications, in addition to the fee at 9(i) above

The requisition


10.  For signing, settling or approving an advertisement

The requisition


11.  On filing a notice of appeal from a registrar to a judge in chambers

The filed copy

12.  On entering any appeal (including an interlocutory appeal) to the Court of Appeal

The filed copy The notice of appeal or requisition


13.  On the taxation of a bill of costs:

Where the amount allowed does not exceed £5

The bill

Where the amount allowed exceeds £5 but does not exceed £100, for every £1 or fraction thereof:

The bill

Where the amount allowed exceeds £100—

for the first £100

The bill

(ii)for every £1 or fraction thereof over £100

The bill

14.  On withdrawal of a bill of costs which has been lodged for taxation

Such fee (not exceeding the amount which would have been payable under Fee No. 13 if the bill had been allowed in full) as shall appear to the taxing master to be fair and reasonable. Providing that the taxing master may in any case require the bill of costs to be stamped before taxation with the whole or part of the amount of fees which would be payable if the bill were allowed by him at the full amount thereof.

The bill


15.  On any application for enforcement of a matrimonial order

The filed copy

Article 3

SCHEDULE 2Orders Revoked


The Matrimonial Causes Fees Order (Northern Ireland) 1991
S.R. 1991 No. 292

The Matrimonial Causes Fees (Amendment) Order (Northern Ireland) 1992
S.R. 1992 No. 219

The Matrimonial Causes Fees (Amendment) Order (Northern Ireland) 1994
S.R. 1994 No. 281

The Matrimonial Causes Fees (Amendment) Order (Northern Ireland) 1995
S.R. 1995 No. 218

Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the Order.)

This Order revokes and replaces the Matrimonial Causes Fees Order (Northern Ireland) 1991 (as amended) to:
(a)increase the majority of fees to be taken in matrimonial proceedings, whether in the High Court or a divorce county court;
(b)restructure the fees in relation to copies of documents; and
(c)introduce a new fee in relation to a postal application for a search.

1978 c. 23

S.R. 1981 No. 184; as amended by S.R. 1989 No. 246

S.R. 1996 No. 103