On the certificate of entitlement to a decree on alleged Unreasonable Behavior an order has been made that the Respondant pays the costs of the Petitioner limited to 50% to be assessed if they can't be agreed. I'm the Resp.
Is this the costs of the divorce in court or the whole song and dance?
Given that I didn't object to the application for divorce, do I have to pay the costs of stbx solicitor beyond this? It seems they have me over a barrel by making me pay there costs in addition to my own so that I capitualate early.
Do I pay their cost for mediation and court in addition to the divorce? It seems their choice is making me pay when I have made lots of offers to come to an arrangement and they refuse to discuss any of them. Will this lack of willing on their part be considered in court at all?
Thanks Charles, that is a relief. I wish I'd seen this earlier as it appears I was worrying for no reason. As we have the Decree Nisi, and if the next set of costs are known can I not ask for the sum of the bill?
Solicitors don’t tend to be too efficient when asking for the divorce costs. The reason for this is that solicitors often carry out all work on one file so work relating to divorce, finances, children etc. all gets mixed up.
It takes a bit of effort to separate out the work and calculate how much it cost their client. The solicitor cannot seek to recover more for their client than their client has paid otherwise this will breach the indemnity principle which is a professional no-no.
The other thing to bear in mind is that the work on the divorce won’t conclude until the Decree Absolute has been issued. I would expect the solicitor to ask for your contribution at that stage.
Don’t be blind-sided by a global sum though – if they say “it cost £2000, send us £1000 or we’ll take you to court” this can be seen as bullying tactics.
I would at least expect a breakdown of costs and if this is not clear the solicitor will have to prepare a formal bill and serve this upon you. You then have 21 days to prepare points of dispute, they then have 21 days to provide replies to those points and then the court is asked to assess what is reasonable.
This last stage should be avoided as the court fee is £369 which you will have to pay generally unless you made an offer to settle which was more than the court assesses that you should pay. In reality only the most belligerent of people will let it go this far as it’s not worth the time, effort or delay.
So, if they ask for a global sum, ask for a breakdown. Then you can make an offer.