Technically before a financial order is made all assets are shared. This means that any division of assets must also be a division of liabilities.
If there are legal fees outstanding, those will be liabilities and will also be taken into account when the court makes a decision.
That is the main reason for the Form H costs estimates which each party (who is represented) must file for each hearing.
That view is obscured if there are limited assets and one party has greater needs than the other. In a matter such as that, the party with the greatest need will get more of a share of the matrimonial pot even if this is demonstrably unfair to the other party. That would also work in relation to legal fees.
However, the starting point in family proceedings is that each party bear their own costs but it's a grey area.
wow it is a difficult question and i do understand there is grey area here but yet again i am putting it out there for anybody that might know including wikiforce solicitors.
WHO PAY PAYS FOR SOLICITORS COSTS AND DOES ALL LIABILITIES COME FROM THE POT BEFORE DIVISION???
I left my husband, saw a solicitor and understood I had to pay my own costs. This included the divorce fee £550 and the taking to court for financial settlement £225.
In total over several years it cost me around 12K.
I had to pay this from my own funds.
He went on to employ expensive solicitor, barrister, half the office showed up at the FDR...he would have paid for them too. I dread to think what his bill was.
The way I understood it was each side bears their own costs. It would be so much easier if you could use joint money, but unfortunately it was all in his name and he wasn’t parting with it!
My advice would be to get the money in your account before proceeding.
Each side bears their own costs unless a judge makes an order otherwise. Normally would only happen if one side has been particularly vexatious or blocking causing the costs to rise without good reason for the other party. But go in to anything assuming your costs are coming out of your share of the pot and ultimately you need to adjust your expectations as such
The point stands though that if both party approach the proceedings as though they are each to bear their own costs and no costs orders are made, the costs will come out of the common fund which is the matrimonial pot. This would mean that both parties bear all costs.
From that point of view the costs are top-sliced from the matrimonial pot in the same way as a mortgage and costs of sale are top-sliced when there is a sale of a property. The vendor only sees the net proceeds.