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please help! understanding court order costs

  • iwant2breakfree
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28 Jul 13 #402431 by iwant2breakfree
Topic started by iwant2breakfree

Hoping someone might be able to help me instead of paying another £60 to my solicitor for a 5 minute call!!

Last week I got my Decree Nisi, my ex has been ordered to pay the full costs of the divorce (adultery)

Thing is my solicitor has been invoicing Me monthly to avoid a big bill at the end... So I''m more or less up to date (and £2.5k out of pocket). My solicitor has told me she will draw up a schedule of costs for my ex

Q1: does he have to agree to these??

Q2: how and when do I get the money back?

Q3: does my ex pay me or the court?

Q4: what happens if he doesn''t pay??

I''d really appreciate any help on this as a single mummy I really can''t afford another drawn out legal battle..

  • WhiteRose
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28 Jul 13 #402432 by WhiteRose
Reply from WhiteRose
Hi & welcome to Wikivorce,

Firstly - there is a difference between having a costs order and receiving the monies :(

I don''t want to give you doom & gloom news, but the way it goes is you pay your sol and your ex pays you.

The problem occurs if the ex doesn''t pay you.

Lets hope he pays up once he receives the invoice ;)


  • NoWhereToTurnl
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28 Jul 13 #402436 by NoWhereToTurnl
Reply from NoWhereToTurnl
Hi and welcome to wiki,

Divorce consists of three parts,

1) Application for divorce leading to Decree Absolute.

2) Contact and provision for dependant children of the marriage.

3) Financial remedy which deals with division of all marital assets and liabilities leading to either a sealed Consent Order or court order.

Cost for divorce only cover number 1, with number 3, parties usually pay their own costs unless there is significant cause for the judge to decide differently.

So what happens next, Your solicitor prepares a breakdown of all costs appertaining to number 1, these are then submitted to the court for approval. Once a judge has approved them, your ex will receive a copy and will be given a time limit in which to pay you (often 28 days), he will pay you direct or to your solicitor.

Best wishes,


  • Fiona
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28 Jul 13 #402458 by Fiona
Reply from Fiona
And if your ex doesn''t pay the costs can be enforced like any other debt!

  • iwant2breakfree
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29 Jul 13 #402495 by iwant2breakfree
Reply from iwant2breakfree
Thanks for your help! But essentially if chooses not to pay I''d be out of pocket again through another legal battle, and basically he could offer me £5 a month :/

  • WhiteRose
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29 Jul 13 #402497 by WhiteRose
Reply from WhiteRose
You can enforce the order, have a look here:


  • .Charles
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29 Jul 13 #402515 by .Charles
Reply from .Charles
The advice given is not quite correct.

If there is a costs order which says something along the lines of "respondent to pay the petitioner''s costs, to be assessed if not agreed", a ''Bill of Costs (detailed assessment)'' is prepared.

The bill will detail all costs incurred in the divorce and should also include the cost of preparation of the bill.

The bill is then served upon the respondent and he has 21 days to respond with payment of points of dispute.

If points of dispute are received you can respond with replies to points of dispute and if no settlement can be reached you can apply to the court for a detailed assessment hearing when a judge will consider the bill and assess the amount that should be paid. There is a new procedure for provisional assessment which avoids a hearing but you will still have to pay the minimum court fee of £325 although this will be added to the debt provided that you issued the application reasonably (i.e. if your ex offered £1000 and you rejected this, issued proceedings and the court ordered that your ex pay £1000 - you are unlikely to obtain the court fee from your ex).

If no response is received, your solicitor will be able to apply for a default costs certificate which is a request to the court to order the full amount. The court fee and a fixed amount for solicitor''s costs is added to the total of the bill so in theory you should not be out of pocket in following this route.

Once the amount of costs has been quantified you can enforce the order as a ''money judgment''. If your ex has the funds to pay, he will pay eventually but it is possible for him to draw out the process which means you might have to obtain an attachment of earnings order or some other method of forced payment. Each time you make an application to the court which is successful, the costs of that application are added to the debt.


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