Case study 3 - family law - alimony - France

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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 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

Judicial mediation is possible.

Extra-judicial mediation is also possible.

Mediation fees are fixed by the judge and payable by the parties, but the cost of mediation may be covered by legal aid.

Drawing up a fee agreement between the mediator and the parties is good practice.

Case B

Idem

Idem

Idem

Idem

Idem

Idem

Idem      

Idem



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 their intervention compulsory?

Costs

Case A

No

No          

No

No

No

No

Fixed by the judge.

Case B

Idem

Idem

Idem

Idem

Idem

Idem

Idem


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


Case study

Witness compensation

Pledge 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

Idem

Idem

Idem

Idem

Idem

Idem



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 the mother before or in the course of the court proceedings. It is granted if the income declared does not exceed the limits set by law.

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

Total legal aid is granted if the monthly income declared by the mother 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 of the mother and EUR 104 for the third dependant and any subsequent.

Case B

Idem

Idem

Idem




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

Yes, if the judge so decides.

When the family law judge’s decision awards costs to a father who does not benefit from legal aid, the father must reimburse the Treasury office with the costs advanced by the State in the defence of a mother 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.

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

Fees are fixed by the judge.

Case B

Idem

Idem

Idem

Idem



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Last update: 07/06/2019