Costs

Belgium

In these case studies on family law – maintenance allowance (pension alimentaire), Member States were asked to advise the claimant on the costs of proceedings in the following situations: Case A – National situation: two persons have lived together unmarried for a number of years. They have a three-year-old child at the time they separate. A court grants custody (droit de garde) of the child to the mother. The only outstanding point at issue relates to the amount of maintenance allowance owed to the mother by the father for the maintenance and upbringing of the child. The mother commences legal proceedings on this issue. Case B – Cross-border situation from the perspective of a lawyer practising in Member State A: two persons have lived together unmarried in Member State B. They have a three-year-old child. They separate. A court in Member State B grants custody of the child to the mother. With the agreement of the father, the mother and the child go to live in Member State A, where they establish residence. One point remains at issue. It relates to the amount of maintenance allowance owed to the mother by the father for the maintenance and upbringing of the child. The mother commences legal proceedings on this issue in Member State A.

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Belgium

Important preliminary remark: Lawyers’ fees are not regulated in Belgium (they are determined on the basis of the difficulty and significance of the case, the name and reputation of the lawyer, the urgency of the case, the outcome of the case, etc.). However, lawyers in Belgium are bound by ethical rules and are legally obliged to give an estimate of expenses and costs that is fair and moderate (see above).

The estimate of expenses and costs is purely indicative.

Costs in Belgium

Costs of proceedings at first instance and appeal, and alternative dispute resolution (ADR)


Case study

Proceedings at first instance

Appeal proceedings

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR)

Initial costs of proceedings

Transcription costs

Other Costs

Initial costs of proceedings

Transcription costs

Other Costs

Is this option available in this type of case?

Costs

Case A

EUR 27

EUR 2.85 per page (royal decree (arrêté royal) No° 64 of 30 November 1939, Belgian Official Gazette 1 December 1939)

EUR 82

EUR 2.85 per page (royal decree No° 64 of 30 November 1939, Belgian Official Gazette 1 December 1939)

no

Case B

EUR 27

EUR 2.85 per page (royal decree No° 64 of 30 November 1939, Belgian Official Gazette 1 December 1939)

EUR 82

EUR 2.85 per page (royal decree No° 64 of 30 November 1939, Belgian Official Gazette 1 December 1939)

no



Fees of lawyers, bailiffs (huissier de justice) and expert witnesses (expert)


Case study

Lawyer

Bailiff

Expert witness

Is representation compulsory?

Average costs

Is representation compulsory?

Costs prior to the judgment

Costs after the judgment

Is their involvement compulsory?

Costs

Case A

no

around EUR 1 000

no

around EUR 27

around EUR 60

no

Case B

no

around EUR 1 000

no

around EUR 27

around EUR 60

no



Costs relating to payment of witnesses (témoin), proof by oath (serment) or other guarantee and other fees


Case study

Payment of witnesses

Proof by oath or other guarantee

Are witnesses paid?

Cost

Does this apply and when and how is it implemented?

Case A

yes

between EUR 15.65 and EUR 48.24

In civil proceedings, as a general rule, the obligation to provide a deposit when commencing proceedings may arise in the case provided for in Article 851 of the Judicial Code (Code judiciaire). In this case, a claimant who is a foreign national may be obliged to provide a deposit. A Belgian respondent may request that the foreign claimant or intervener provide a deposit. Article 852 specifies the form the deposit may take (sum of money, security, etc.). See fact sheet on transparency of costs.

Case B

yes

BEF 200 or EUR 4.96

In civil proceedings, as a general rule, the obligation to provide a deposit when commencing proceedings may arise in the case provided for in Article 851 of the Judicial Code. In this case, a claimant who is a foreign national may be obliged to provide a deposit. A Belgian respondent may request that the foreign claimant or intervener provide a deposit. Article 852 specifies the form the deposit may take (sum of money, security, etc.). See fact sheet on transparency of costs.



Legal aid (aide juridique) costs and other types of reimbursement

See the Legal aid section of the page on the costs of proceedings.

Translation and interpretation costs


Case study

Translation

Interpretation

Other costs relating to cross-border disputes?

When and under what conditions is it necessary?

Approximate cost?

When and under what conditions is it necessary?

Approximate cost?

Description

Approximate cost?

Case A

where the documents are necessary for the proceedings

between EUR 7.57 and EUR 34.48 per page

where the respondent does not understand the language of the proceedings

between EUR 31.61 and EUR 54.62 per hour

Case B

where the documents are necessary for the proceedings

between EUR 7.57 and EUR 34.48 per page

where the respondent does not understand the language of the proceedings

between EUR 31.61 and EUR 54.62 per hour

costs of declaration of enforceability (exequatur)

around EUR 100

Last update: 22/09/2022

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