Case study 3 - family law - alimony - Germany

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In this case study on family law – alimony, Member States were asked to advise the suing party on litigation costs on litigation costs in order to consider 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 when they separate. A court decision grants custody of the child to the mother. The only outstanding dispute relates to the amount of the alimony owed to the mother by the father for the support and education of the child. The mother sues on this.

Case B – Transnational situation where you are a lawyer in Member State A: Two persons have lived together unmarried in a Member State (State B). They have a three year old child. They separate. A court decision in Member State B gives the child’s custody to the mother. With the agreement of the father, the mother and the child move to live in another Member State (Member State A) where they establish their residence.

An outstanding dispute remains. This relates to the amount of the alimony owed to the mother by the father for the support and education of the child. The mother sues on this in Member State A.


Costs of proceedings


Costs in Germany

Costs for Court and Appeals


Case Study

Court

Appeals

Initial court fees

Initial court fees

Case A

Depends on level of maintenance sought

Depends on level of maintenance sought

Case B

Depends on level of maintenance sought

Depends on level of maintenance sought


Costs for lawyer, bailiff and expert


Case Study

Lawyer

Bailiff

Expert

Is representation compulsory?

Average costs

Is representation compulsory?

Post-judgment costs

Is use compulsory?

Cost

Case A

Yes

Depends on level of maintenance sought

No

Depends on type of enforcement measure

At the court’s discretion

Based on hourly rates, level differs according to area of activity, max. EUR 100 plus expenses and turnover tax

Case B

Yes

Depends on level of maintenance sought

No

Depends on type of enforcement measure

At the court’s discretion

Based on hourly rates, level differs according to area of activity, max. EUR 100 plus expenses and turnover tax



Costs for witness compensation


Case

Study

Witness compensation

Are witnesses compensated?

Cost

Case A

Yes

Loss of earnings, max. EUR 17 per hour, travel costs and other expenses

Case B

Yes

Loss of earnings, max. EUR 17 per hour, travel costs and other expenses



Costs for legal aid and other reimbursement



Case

study

Legal Aid

Reimbursement

When and under which conditions is it applicable?

Can the winning party obtain reimbursement of litigation costs?

Are there instances when legal aid should be reimbursed to the legal aid organisation?

Case A

Depends on income and financial situation

Yes

Improvement in the person’s income and financial circumstances and in the case of payment by instalments

Case B

Depends on income and financial situation

Yes

Improvement in the person’s income and financial circumstances and in the case of payment by instalments



Costs for translation and interpretation


Case

study

Translation

Interpretation

Other costs specific to cross-border disputes?

When and under which conditions is it necessary?

Approximative cost?

When and under which conditions is it necessary?

Approximative cost?

Description

Case A

Case B

At the court’s discretion

Normally EUR 1.85 per 55 keystrokes plus expenses and turnover tax

At the court’s discretion

EUR 55 per hour plus expenses and turnover tax

Service of documents abroad



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Last update: 07/06/2019