Case study 1 - family law - divorce - France

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In this case study on family law – divorce, Member States were asked to advise the party filing for divorce on litigation costs in the following situations:

Case A – National situation: a couple gets married. Later they separate and agree to a divorce.

Case B – Transnational situation: Two nationals from the same Member State (Member State A) marry. The marriage is celebrated in Member State A. After the wedding, the couple moves to live and work in another Member State (Member State B), where they establish their residence. Shortly thereafter, the couple separates with the wife returning to Member State A and the husband remaining in Member State B. The couple agrees to a divorce. Upon her return to Member State A, the wife immediately files for a divorce before the courts of Member State B.


Costs of proceedings


Costs in France

Costs for legal proceedings, appeals and the alternative dispute resolution process


Case study

Legal proceedings

Appeal

Alternative dispute resolution process

Initial court fees

Transcription fees

Other fees

Initial court fees

Transcription fees

Other fees

Is this option available in this type of case?

Costs

Case A

No

No

No

No

No

No

Mediation can be used to try to find an agreement between the parties on the consequences of the divorce, but in all circumstances a court decision is required for the pronouncement of the divorce.

Mediation costs are payable by the parties, but may be covered by legal aid.

Case B

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Costs for lawyer, bailiff and expert


Case study

Lawyer

Bailiff

Expert

Is representation compulsory?

Average costs

Is representation compulsory?

Pre-judgment costs

Post-judgment costs

Is use compul-sory?

Costs

Case A

Yes

Free to set own fees.

Yes, if summons/

subpoena.

No, if joint application.

Summons: EUR 18.70

Service: EUR 26.70

Service: EUR 26.70

A notary is required if real property forms part of community property.

List of fees

Case B

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Document originating from another Member State: EUR 50

Document destined for another Member State: EUR 36.30

Document originating from another Member State: EUR 50

Document destined for another Member State: EUR 36.30

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Costs for witness compensation, oath or other security and other relevant fees


Case study

Witness compensation

Oath or other security

Other fees

Are witnesses compensated?

Cost

Does this exist and when and how is it used?

Cost

Description

Cost

Case A

No

No

No

No

No

No

Case B

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Idem

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Idem

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Costs for legal aid and other reimbursement



Case study

Legal aid

When and under which conditions is it necessary?

When is aid total?

Conditions?

Case A

Legal aid can be requested by a spouse before or in the course of court proceedings. It is granted if:

- the action for divorce brought by the spouse does not appear manifestly inadmissible or without any foundation in law;

- the income declared does not exceed the limits set by law;

- the costs of the divorce proceedings are not covered by legal protection insurance.

The State pays all the costs of the proceedings if the spouse is awarded total aid.

Total legal aid is granted if the monthly income declared by the petitioner does not exceed EUR 911.

Partial aid is granted for those with income between this amount and EUR 1 367.

The upper limits for income are raised by EUR 164 for the first two dependants and EUR 104 for the third dependant and any subsequent.

Case B

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Case study

Reimbursement

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

No, where the parties agree, the principle applied is division of costs, except where the parties agree otherwise or the judge decides otherwise.

When the divorce judgment awards costs to a spouse who does not benefit from legal aid, the spouse must reimburse the Treasury office with the costs advanced by the State in the defence of a spouse who does benefit from legal aid.

Case B

Idem

Idem



Costs for translation and interpretation


Case study

Translation

Interpretation

When and under which conditions is it necessary?

Approximate cost?

When and under which conditions is it necessary?

Approximate cost?

Case A

Documents submitted to the judge must be translated.

There are no statistics available relating to costs.

When the judge does not understand the language in which the parties communicate.

Fixed by the judge.

Case B

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Last update: 07/06/2019