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What are we each entitled to in our divorce settlement?

What does the law say about how to split the house, how to share pensions and other assets, and how much maintenance is payable.

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Paying Nisi Legal Fees

  • sailorsam
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07 Feb 11 #250296 by sailorsam
Topic started by sailorsam
Hi
Nisi came through (at long last) and with it an order to pay the costs incurred on behalf of the Petitioner. This was immediately followed by a request from STBX's solicitor for £1000 for her legal fees and £1500 for court fees all plus vat. I had believed that I would only be responsible for the Court Fees of ~£500. Is it correct I now have to pay all of the above or does the order just refer to Court Fees.
Grateful for any help/advice

  • TBagpuss
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07 Feb 11 #250305 by TBagpuss
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the order includes her solicitors costs but these must be reasonable.

NORMALLY the court fees would be
Issue of Petition £340
Oath fee £7 - £9
Decree Absolute £45

VAT is not payable on the court fees

Her solicitors costs would usually be around 3-4 hours at their hourly rate.

Obviously the costs may be higher if there were complications - for instance, if they have to arrange for Bailiff or Personal Service, or if the Petition had to be amended.

You should only be charged the costs of the divorce (not of any work relating to other issues such as children or finances)

You can write to hr solicitors asking for details of their hourly rate and a break down of the costs, with details of all fees and disbursments charged. They should be able to set out the number of hours atetndance & preparation & the number of letters & phonecalls charged for, and details of the disbursments.

Assuming that everthing was fairly straightforward, I would normally expect the costs to be between £1,200 and £1,500 inclusive of costs and VAT so if they are asking you for £2,500 + VAT this does seem very high.

  • .Charles
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07 Feb 11 #250308 by .Charles
Reply from .Charles
Costs ordered in the divorce suit will include the solicitors costs plus the court fees.

However, court fees will be £340 for issue of the Petition and £45 for issue of the Decree Absolute. The petition fee will be £300 if it was issued before October last year. Court fees are zero-VAT rated.

The solicitors costs are usually based upon an hourly rate. The higher the rate, the higher the costs and the rate is determined by seniority and the location of the office within the UK.

For a simple undefended divorce, the time spent should be around 4 hours therefore based on an hourly rate of £185 the costs would be something like this:

£185 x 4 = £740.00
VAT @ 20% = £148.00
Petition fee = £340.00
DA fee = £45.00

Total = £1273.00

The court fees are described as disbursements which are fees paid by the solicitor to third parties. These might also include costs of a process server (if you were personally served with the petition), a marriage certificate fee and a translation fee if you were married in foreign climes.

If the other side is looking for any more than £1500 you should seek a breakdown of costs, confirmation of the hourly rate, confirmation that the claim for costs includes only the costs relating to the decree proceedings and confirmation that the solicitor is not breaching the indemnity principle. The last of these is a technical issue that is worth throwing in to show you are not a walkover.

Charles

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07 Feb 11 #250323 by .Charles
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Typical, I get distracted and Bagpuss gets in before me. :-)

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17 Mar 11 #258073 by sailorsam
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Responded that this was excessive and have now had a letter saying they will accept £1000 plus vat.

What a ridiculous game

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