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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 a costs order

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22 Jun 20 #512956 by appg59
Topic started by appg59
The Judge awarded the costs of the divorce against the respondent - who are now refusing to pay part of the money. How do I enforce it?

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23 Jun 20 #512960 by .Charles
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It depends what the order says. If it says "costs to be assessed if not agreed" you cannot enforce it until the court has decided how much is to be paid.

If it is a specified amount e.g. "the respondent pay the petitioner £750 towards the costs of the divorce proceedings", that is much easier.

Charles

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23 Jun 20 #512970 by appg59
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Thanks very much Charles - this is what the order says:

Order for costs supplementary to Decree Nisi
On making the Decree Nisi, District Judge Talog-Davies orders that respondent pays the applicant all of their divorce costs.

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24 Jun 20 #512985 by .Charles
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Unfortunately that's not an order that can be enforced.

That order only permits you to recover your costs using the detailed assessment procedure.

Once that procedure has concluded you will have an amount for payment which you can enforce if not paid within the default period of 14 days.

The detailed assessment procedure begins with the preparation of an account of the costs called a 'Bill of Costs (detailed assessment)'. Once this is prepared it has to be signed and served along with various other documents on the paying party.

If the paying party doesn't respond within 21 days you can apply to the court for a default costs certificate for the full amount plus the court fee for the default costs certificate.

If the paying party responds with points of dispute, you can (should) respond with replies to points of dispute. If you can't agree a figure for settlement you can apply to the court for a provisional assessment which is carried out by a judge without a hearing. The court fee varies depending upon the amount of costs you are seeking but the lowest fee is around £335.

Normally the receiving party will be awarded the costs of the assessment process but it depends if any offers have been made. It gets technical rather quickly.

The above is the reason that a lot of solicitors try to agree the amount of costs before the Decree Nisi is issued in order that a specified sum can be put in the order.

Charles

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