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  • Neves7728
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07 Feb 22 #518817 by Neves7728
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Good Morning

Just looking for a bit of clarification on how court costs are split/paid. I understand each party bears their own costs. Does this mean that both the ex and our costs would come out of the settlement pot? the ex is on benefits so presuming they can get help with court costs etc. Any info appreciated

  • .Charles
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08 Feb 22 #518832 by .Charles
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When you refer to "court costs" do you mean court fees? Every time an application is made to the court e.g. issuing a divorce petition, applying for a financial order etc, a court fee is payable.

There is fee remission process which allows a party to apply to remit a fee based upon their financial circumstances. This would allow them to avoid paying all or part of the fee.

The person making the application would pay the fee (if they do not qualify for fee remission) so the Petitioner in divorce proceedings would pay the court fee and the Applicant in the financial proceedings would pay the court fee.

Charles

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08 Feb 22 #518834 by Neves7728
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Hi

Thanks for the info, i thought that would be the case. Guess im more concerned about the 10-15k it may cost as we are presuming it will go to full hearing due to the high conflict nature of the ex. The ex is on benefits so cannot afford representation (unless they apply for legal aid) i was wondering if the money from the settlement pot would be used between the parties? Thanks

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08 Feb 22 #518836 by .Charles
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Right, it's the legal fees you are talking about.

Solicitors costs = professional fees for doing work for one of the parties

Court fees = those fees which you pay to issue an application

Disbursements = a global term for third party costs/fees which are required in dealing with court proceedings e.g. barristers fees, court fees, mileage, parking, valuer's fees. Disbursements are often paid by a solicitor and included on a bill to their client along with solicitors costs

Legal fees = a global term for all solicitors costs and disbursements

In family proceedings the starting point is that each party bears their own costs. However, in financial proceedings the matrimonial finances are in one 'pot' therefore any liability for legal fees should come out of the pot first and the rest should be divided between the parties.

However, if the pot is too small and cannot provide enough for the parties to each rehouse, the division of finances is often decided based upon needs. The party with the greatest need will receive hay they need first, even if this leads to an unfair settlement for the other party.

As a basic example, if there was a pot of £200,000 and each party needed £100,000 to rehouse, the obvious settlement would be 50:50, right? If one person had a greater need and also had £20,000 of legal fees, they might receive £120,000 - £20,000 to pay legal fees and £100,00 which they 'need' to rehouse. The other party would receive £80,000 which might be £60,000 after legal fees are paid.

This is why it is important not to spend money on needless legal fees. Even in the case of legal aid, that has to be repaid from any settlement so the same problems arise although at a lower level as the legal aid agency don't pay vey much.

Charles

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10 Feb 22 #518859 by Neves7728
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Thank you very much for that information. Very helpful. There is only 25k in the pot and 15k pension so small amounts which i guess will be eaten up by costs.

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10 Feb 22 #518860 by notgettinganywherefast
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With that amount in the pot it will definitely all be taken with legal costs if one or both of you has legal support. Its difficult when one party is determined to fight to the end because it leaves the other no choice but to go along with it (other than giving up more than they might otherwise have to.) Sometimes it's better just to cut your losses and move on. Court can drag things out for year s and the costs are ridiculous - 45k in my partners case so far and not yet at FDR becausethe other party keeps moving the goalposts! The only person who will benefit from court is the Solicitors and barristers.

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10 Feb 22 #518861 by Neves7728
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Yes, there is going to be no winners on this but the ex is determined to "take us to the cleaners" regardless of the outcome as their housing needs will be met by the state. We have tried our best and even offered way above what the solicitor advised but with the ex being very bitter and stubborn just to spite things then i guess its a loose loose situation.

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