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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.

What steps can we take to reach a fair agreement?

The four basic steps to reaching an agreement on divorce finances are: disclosure, getting advice, negotiating and implementing a Consent Order.

What is a Consent Order and why do we need one?

A Consent Order is a legally binding document that finalises a divorcing couple's agreement on property, pensions and other assets.


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Enforcing an order for costs?

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22 Jun 17 #493624 by doglover
Topic started by doglover
I don't want to use a solicitor again as my costs are already astronomical and have not created a satisfactory outcome in my financial settlement. I have been awarded costs in my divorce but my x husband refuses to pay and says that this amount should come out of the amount of money he has to pay me in the settlement. How can I take the matter back to court to enforce the order? The costs are £550 disbursements, £800 plus vat solicitor fees. I am thoroughly dissatisfied with my solicitor and want to process the application myself as everything turns out to be a cost building exercise, but I'm not sure how to start??
TY

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26 Jun 17 #493844 by .Charles
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If you have an order for costs that says something along the lines of "respondent to pay the petitioner's costs to be assessed if not agreed", you will have to prepare a bill of costs (detailed assessment).

The bill is a prescribed format - an example of which can be found here: www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rule.../new-precedent-a.pdf

If your solicitor's costs were £800 + VAT, you will have to break that figure down into the different areas of the bill ensuring that you do not claim more than you have paid to your solicitor. If the monies paid to your solicitor include other work not relating to the divorce (e.g. finances/children) you should exclude this.

Once you have a bill you need to serve it on your ex/ex's solicitor with form N252 (notice of commencement of assessment of bill of costs) (formfinder.hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/n252-eng.pdf) AND the order for costs. The bill should be signed by a partner of the firm of solicitor but if they are no longer acting, you can sign it as the petitioner although you will need to amend the certification page to make that clear.

Once served, the respondent has 21 days to file points of dispute AND make an open offer of settlement. You then get the same time to prepare replies to points of dispute which are optional but advisable.

Any point after that you can apply to the court for a provisional assessment of the bill of costs using form N258 (formfinder.hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/n258-eng.pdf) enclosing the bill, the points of dispute and replies (which should be the same document), a copy of the order for costs and a court fee of £369 (for bills under £15,000).

The court will carry out an assessment and you must then agree the arithmetic of the bill, the order for costs (of the assessment process) and calculation of interest with your ex. The costs of the assessment process should give consideration to any adjustments by the judge and whether the open offer made beats the amount awarded by the court.

If you can't agree those items, you can prepare written submissions within 21 days and the court will decide on paper what is appropriate to pay. At that point you will have a money judgment which can THEN be enforced against your ex.

Charles

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31 Mar 21 #516334 by carlshuff
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Hi Charles,
Sorry to jump on an old post.
I'm in exactly the same position as Doglover, except my former wife has ignored everything from day one. I had to employ a process server to deliver the petition.
She has not used a solicitor during the divorce process, so once i have populated a bill, completed Form N252 and enclosed a copy of the Order for Cost (Form D61?) who do i send it to? My former wife?
She will Ignore the letter so advice on my next steps would be helpful too.
Kind regards,
Carl.

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01 Apr 21 #516350 by .Charles
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If your ex did not employ a solicitor you should serve the N252, the bill, the order for costs and and disbursement invoices (the process server invoice for instance but nothing in relation to the court fee) on your ex.

Service can be by post although I would recommend having some sort of tracked delivery in case your ex claims not to have received it.

Charles

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05 May 21 #516632 by carlshuff
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Hi Charles,

I sent Form N252, the bill of cost and Form D61 to my ex wife and 21 days have now elapsed without any response (As expected). Reading the forum threads i believe my next steps are to complete Form N254 and send it to the court?

Form N254 asks me to certify that i have served three documents to the paying party, terminology differs slightly from form to form so could you please clarify my understanding?

(1) Notice of commencment - is this Form N252?
(2) The bill of cost - this would be the bill i sent my ex wife?
(3) A copy of the document giving the right to detailed assessment - this is the one i am least sure about, is this Form D61?

Kind regards,

Carl

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06 May 21 #516637 by .Charles
Reply from .Charles
Yes, the D61 is the order for costs. It should say something along the lines of "the respondent pay the petitioner's divorce costs, to be assessed if not agreed".

Charles

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06 May 21 #516638 by carlshuff
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Hi charles,

Thank you for your reply,

at the top of the form along with the court name and claim number it asks for "Fee account number"

what is this?

Kind regards,

Carl

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