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History: Home UK Divorce Forum
Court costs (4 Posts)
Started By:
26 January, 2018 11:30AM
Court costs
Willapp - 26 January, 2018 11:30AM
Posting as a new topic so I don't derail someone else's post.

When I spoke to my solicitor about the divorce process, she was adamant that in family court each party pays their own costs unless one party can be seen to frustrate the process. However in several recent topics here I have seen reference to people claiming costs when issuing divorce proceeding? Is this true?

I am the higher earner and already looking at paying my ex a large-ish sum as part of a financial agreement, but the last thing I want is to have to pay her legal fees on top! I would be grateful to know the criteria for this or if there is anything I can do to mitigate it?

We haven't actually started proceedings yet, so am I better off being the petitioner to avoid her claiming costs? Can I try and claim costs against her or would that be cheeky?
Re: Court costs
davidterry - 26 January, 2018 02:31PM
Costs in the divorce (ie the process which culminates in decree absolute) and costs in dealing with the financial issues arising from the marriage are two separate issues. Your solicitor is no doubt talking about the latter. You are confusing the two.

In the divorce itself whether costs can be claimed depends very much upon the ground for the divorce. And when costs are claimed it is very much more difficult for a husband to claim them successfully than a wife. The usual reason for that is because, as here, the husband earns more than the wife (often by a considerable margin).
Re: Court costs
Willapp - 26 January, 2018 02:40PM
Thanks David, I think you're right and she must have been referring only to costs around financial matters which I assume could be significantly greater than the divorce itself (if they aren't settled amicably).

When you say costs depends on the grounds for the divorce, does that mean because we separated amicably and have waited for 2 years so that we can divorce without giving a reason, it's less likely that costs can be claimed? In what scenario would/wouldn't costs usually be awarded?

Does being the respondent vs petitioner have any bearing on claiming costs or what those costs are? I.e. supposing I would have to pay costs, will it be less if I instigate the divorce proceedings or wait for my ex to do it?

Thanks again.
Re: Court costs
davidterry - 28 January, 2018 05:42PM
Costs are not usually claimed in the case of 2 years' separation with consent for the very simple reason that if the petitioner claims costs the respondent is likely to say, 'Well, I am not going to consent if you want me to pay costs'.
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