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possible costs

  • ting77
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14 Aug 13 #404334 by ting77
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Hi, i am going through a very amicable divorce in england in which my soon to be ex wife is on legal aid.all arrangements for children and mortgage etc are all arranged and both parties satisfied.i have the divorce papers through and just need to sign them. i am on low wages(£8.98ph),and the form is asking me to sign a box to say i would not object to paying the costs, fees etc..and if i do not agree..why. does anyone know what these costs or fees are, and how much. my ex knows nothing of it. her legal aid solicitor obviously will not tell me, and i can no way afford a solicitor or pay any crazy costs. any help will be appreciated.many thanks....mike

  • .Charles
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14 Aug 13 #404352 by .Charles
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If she is exempt from paying court fees - the solicitors fees will be around £800.

Is the Petition based on unreasonable behaviour of 2 years separation? If the latter, it would be worthwhile agreeing to give your written consent on the grounds that the claim for costs be deleted.

Charles

  • TBagpuss
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14 Aug 13 #404399 by TBagpuss
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If she signed up for Legal Help before the cuts came in, and assuming that there are no financial issues in dispute, then she will not pay any costs.

However, most legal aid was cut in April so do double check. (with your wife, as things are amicable) Her solicitor should tell her, even if they will not tell you. (although there is really no reason why they can''t tell you, at least to give you a guide)

It would also be fine for you to answer the question about costs to say that you do object to paying on that basis that you understand that she has Legal Help and will not incur any costs.

If she does have Legal Help then any costs should be limited to the amount she would actually have to pay herself, which should be less than £200 (+ court fees if she is not entitled to fee exemption)

If the Petition is based on 2 years separation you can object ion the basis that the divorce is by consent

You can also say that you object to paying the full costs as the marriage is being dissolved by mutual consent but that you are prepared to make a contribution of 50% of the actual costs paid by wife up to a maximum of £x inclusive of VAT

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14 Aug 13 #404440 by ting77
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Thanks for the reply charles. we have been separated for nearly four years. no unreasonable behavour. i actually left ,,,but she is the one filing for divorce. probably only because she is getting legal aid. many thanks

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14 Aug 13 #404444 by ting77
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Hi t bagpuss and thanks for the reply. she says she def has legal aid. she had it earlier in the year but her solicitors went bust(never heard that before). her case was passed on to another solicitor from then so i assume they are obliged to honour her legal aid.am i to take it that i will have to pay for the court process in this matter. excuse my ignorance,im very green on these matters. many thanks

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15 Aug 13 #404481 by .Charles
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Legal Help (legal aid ''lite'') is used to deal with divorce proceedings and whilst TBagpuss says that those costs are not paid by the person receiving legal assistance, that is not always the case.

If your spouse has legal aid for financial matters and obtains money or property from such proceedings, the Statutory Charge applies which means that legal fees have to be repaid. The Statutory Charge also attaches to the costs incurred in dealing with the divorce.

Furthermore, there is case law that states that state-funded legal assistance used in divorce proceedings where the Petition uses ''fault-based'' grounds (e.g. adultery or unreasonable behaviour), the solicitor has a duty to seek costs from the respondent if this is appropriate. In summary, the divorce is free only if there is nobody from which the fees can be recouped.

It is also possible for the solicitor to recover from the paying party, i.e. you, a sum which is more than the Legal Aid Board/Legal Services Commission/Legal Aid Agency will pay to the solicitor. The solicitor can recover ''market rates'' from the respondent which are far greater than the amount paid by the state (i.e. £200 per hour rather than £50 p/h).

So, tread carefully otherwise you may have a shock.

Charles

  • Richie1
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15 Aug 13 #404483 by Richie1
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In short, if you agree to pay any costs that may be payable then you will pay them. If you do not agree then a Judge will decide whether you pay them, personally I wouldn''t agree to the costs, at least that way you have a chance of not paying them - whatever amount they might be.

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