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court fees assessed if not agreed

  • qazqaz
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25 Aug 18 #503534 by qazqaz
Topic started by qazqaz
been awarded "court fees assessed if not agreed'
I haven't used a solicitor for this part of the divorce, can anyone advise how I put together the bill of costs? and can I included time for me doing the work etc.
I know I need to complete a n252, and serve this will the bill of costs - neither of us are using solicitors at the moment can I just email it? or does it need to be sent signed for post?

  • .Charles
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29 Aug 18 #503624 by .Charles
Reply from .Charles
does it say 'court fees' or 'costs'? I would assume the latter.

The procedure is tortuous. If you used a solicitor to deal with the divorce you can claim their costs of dealing with the divorce but not your own. If you did deal with it yourself you would have to prepare a list of the work you did, how long it took you and the date of the work - all limited to £18 per hour.

You can only claim the work for the divorce, the process of ending the marriage, nothing to do with children, finances etc.

You have to prepare a bill of costs for detailed assessment and serve this with the N252. Email service is not advised unless you have the permission from the respondent.

I posted a response not too long ago which should detail the process:



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30 Aug 18 #503653 by qazqaz
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Many thanks for your reply, very helpful.

would this be right for bill of costs?
Bill of Costs (Detailed assessment)

1) Time spent

10/05/18 – 120 minutes – prepare divorce petition
09/07/18 – 98 minutes – prepare Decree Nisi (forms D84 and D80)
01/09/18 – 90 minutes –prepare Decree Absolute (cannot apply until 20th September 2018) (form D36)
01/09/18 – 60 mins – prepare bill of costs & form N252
01/09/18 – 30 mins – post bill of costs/ form n252 to defendant

Total time spent 6 hours 38 minutes – limited to 5 hours @ £18.00 per hour = £90.00

(2) Disbursements

£550.00 – court fee to issue petition

Total disbursements £550

Total claimed = Time spent (£90.00) + Disbursements (£550.00) = £640.00

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31 Aug 18 #503659 by .Charles
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(correction: the litigant in person rate is now £19 per hour)

That would certainly pass muster. The first part of the bill would be a narrative to describe what went on and there would be a chronology. This could simply be:

"The parties were married on [date] and the Petitioner filed for divorce on [date]. The Petitioner applied for decree nisi which was issued on [date] along with an order for costs to be assessed is not agreed. The decree absolute was issued on [date]. This bill details the Petitioner's costs incurred as litigant in person and rate of remuneration claimed is £18 per hour."

(I’m assuming you won’t serve the bill until the decree absolute is issued as technically that ends the proceedings and you are then entitled to serve the bill)

For reference the short letters that your write to accompany documentation can be claimed at one unit which is 6 minutes i.e. 10% of one hour.

Similarly short telephone calls (if you made any, these would probably be to the court) of 6 minutes or less can be claimed at one unit.

These short items are described as ‘routine’ meaning that they take less than 6 minutes to complete and you need only identify to whom you send them e.g.

*The court*
3 routine letters out
2 routine telephone calls

*The Respondent*
2 routine letters out

If the call last more than 6 minutes you can claim one unit for each 6 minutes *or part thereof* - this means that a 5 minute call can be claimed at one unit and a 7 minute call can be claimed at two units. The same is true for time spent on documents so your 98 minutes can be claimed at 102 minutes (17 units / 1.7 hours). This also makes the calculations easier.

As a litigant in person you can claim up to two-thirds of the amount that a solicitor would claim to do the work. So, a divorce typically takes 3.5 hours which at £200 per hour is £700 - you can claim around £467 or 24.5 hours. That's the maximum you can claim rather than the amount that would be allowed.

Some of your times look a bit excessive to me but I work in the law and have a head start as I’ve seen thousands of divorces over the years. If you have no legal knowledge you have to learn the legal process before engaging in it and that is permitted which is why you are only allowed £19 per hour. As judges don’t see these types of claim

It’s stupidly complex and could easily be resolved with a fixed fee tariff but the law is slow on these types of things and legal costs are an absolute minefield.


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