My Decree Nisi has recently been issued. The court issued a cost order to the respondent to pay my divorce application fee (£593.00) in full within 14 days as I filed under unreasonable behaviour. I have not received the payment, how should I go about enforcing payment.
The order will state what the court has decided
your wife must pay you. They are required to pay
you within 14 days of the order being made. If they
don't pay you back within that time, you can use
the order to make a money claim against them.
Download your costs order (PDF).
You have been granted a Decree Nisi
On 16 February 2022 the court granted you a: Decree Nisi - the first stage of the decree ending
costs order- giving you the right to claim your
There are usually two types of orders for costs in divorce proceedings.
The most common order is "The Respondent pay the Petition's costs to be assessed if not agreed" and the other is a specified amount e.g. "the Respondent do pay the Petitioner £500 towards the costs of the divorce".
The order you have, whilst not specifically saying so, is the former.
The reason the costs haven't been paid is because you haven't yet asked for them. You have to state what your costs are before anyone can pay them.
It's a bit like some somebody telling you that you need to pay for my grocery shopping for a week. I would need to tell you what I have bought and how much I have spent.
Unfortunately the process to assess costs is annoying complex. You need to draft a bill of costs with supporting documentation and serve it on the paying party. You then have to wait for payment or for 21 days to elapse at which point you move on to the next stage. There is a different process if the paying party responds within 21 days but doesn't agree to the amount for which you have asked.
If you are only claiming the court fee ('costs' includes solicitors costs which will be nil if you did not use a solicitor, drafting all of that paperwork for one item - the court fee - is ridiculous but that is where we are.
I suggest you write to the Respondent asking that the court fee is paid within 14 days. You might want to mention that if it isn't paid an application will be made to the court at which point costs will escalate. I'll leave that to your judgment as threats can often do more harm than good.
I did in fact send my wife an email with attachments of the Court documents including the costs order and asked her that I expect her to pay me the application fee of £593.00 within 14 days (14th day is in fact today March 2nd).
I received no reply from her and it goes without saying, as of the time of writing this email no payment received.
As I intend to obtain a Clean Break divorce I will be adding £53.00 to the £593.00.