Case study 3 - family law - alimony - Hungary

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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 Hungary

Costs of alternative dispute resolution (ADR)


Case study

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR)

Is such an option available for this type of case?

Costs

Case A

Yes, but the claim for alimony is enforceable only if it is formalised in an executory document (a court or public notary may add an enforcement clause to a document).

As agreed by the parties and the mediator.

Anyone involved in new or on-going proceedings may request mediation at the court, which is free of charge.

Case B

Yes, but the claim for maintenance is enforceable only if it is formalised in an executory document (a court or public notary may add an enforcement clause to a document).

As agreed by the parties and the mediator.

Anyone involved in new or on-going proceedings may request mediation at the court, which is free of charge.

Attorney, bailiff and expert fees


Case study

Attorney

Bailiff

Expert

Is legal representation compulsory?

Average costs

Is legal representation compulsory?

Must it be made use of?

Costs

Case A

No

As agreed by the client and the attorney.

No

No The court may appoint an expert at the request of the party providing evidence, except where it may initiate the taking of evidence ex officio. Either of the parties may also submit the opinions of private experts.

The expert determines his/her fee. If the court orders the taking of evidence ex officio, the fee is established pursuant to the relevant legislation in force.

Case B

No

As agreed by the client and the attorney.

No

No The court may appoint an expert at the request of the party providing evidence, except where it may initiate the taking of evidence ex officio. Either of the parties may also submit the opinions of private experts.

The expert determines his/her fee. If the court orders the taking of evidence ex officio, the fee is established pursuant to the relevant legislation in force.

Witness compensation


Case study

Witness compensation

Are witnesses eligible for compensation?

Costs

Case A

Yes

Witness compensation is regulated by law. Witnesses are entitled to reimbursement of their travel, accommodation and subsistence costs, and compensation for their period of absence from work.

Case B

Yes

Witness compensation is regulated by law. Witnesses are entitled to reimbursement of their travel, accommodation and subsistence costs, and compensation for their period of absence from work.

Costs for legal aid and the reimbursement of expenses



Case study

Legal aid

Reimbursement of expenses

When and under what conditions is it applicable?

When is full legal aid available?

Can the successful party obtain reimbursement of litigation costs?

If reimbursement is not comprehensive, what is the usual percentage of costs covered?

What costs may not be reimbursed?

Are there instances when legal aid must be reimbursed?

Case A

See the section on legal aid.

Irrespective of their income or financial situation, parties have a right to the deferral of payments – suspended payment of specific costs – in lawsuits on statutory maintenance, including lawsuits for collecting alimony from entities disbursing the obliged party's allowances or from other third parties, cancelling maintenance or changing the amount paid, abating or restricting the executory collection of alimony, and proceedings for obtaining the personal details of the obliged party in transnational maintenance disputes.

In cases where, based on information available at the time, the estimated legal costs are likely to render access to the court impossible for the applicant.

Legal assistance is free of charge within the framework of legal aid, below an income threshold equal to the minimum retirement pension.

Yes, the losing party shall be obliged to reimburse the costs of the successful party, except where otherwise provided for by law, including where the law obliges another party to bear the costs irrespective of the court's decision.

In the event of partial success in a lawsuit, the amount to be reimbursed shall be commensurate with the successful part of the claim and the advance payments made by each party. The court may also order each party to bear its own costs.

In justified cases, the court may reduce attorneys' fees it deems unreasonably high.

The parties may not be ordered to bear costs incurred due to (otherwise preventable) reasons attributable to the court.

Reimbursement of legal costs to parties may not exceed the amount claimed by them.

Yes, if it is found that the party benefiting from legal aid was not eligible to receive it.

The losing party must reimburse the appointed public attorney's fee, which was paid in advance by the State, directly to the State.

The losing party must pay the administrator's fee, even if it is eligible for legal aid.

Case B

See the section on legal aid.

Irrespective of their income or financial situation, parties have a right to the deferral of payments – suspended payment of specific costs – in lawsuits on statutory alimony.

The decision on granting legal aid may take into account the cost of living in each party's country of residence.

In cases where, based on information available at the time, the estimated legal costs are likely to render access to the court impossible for the applicant.

Legal assistance is free of charge within the framework of legal aid, below an income threshold equal to the minimum retirement pension.

Citizens of EU Member States and citizens of non-EU States who reside legally in an EU Member State are eligible to receive legal aid under the same conditions as Hungarian citizens.

Yes, the losing party shall be obliged to reimburse the costs of the successful party, except where otherwise provided for by law, including where the law obliges another party to bear the costs irrespective of the court's decision.

In the event of partial success in a lawsuit, the amount to be reimbursed shall be commensurate with the successful part of the claim and the advance payments made by each party. The court may also order each party to bear its own costs.

In justified cases, the court may reduce attorneys' fees it deems unreasonably high.

The parties may not be ordered to bear costs incurred due to (otherwise preventable) reasons attributable to the court.

Reimbursement of legal costs to parties may not exceed the amount claimed by them.

Yes, if it is found that the party benefiting from legal aid was not eligible to receive it.

The losing party must reimburse the appointed public attorney's fee, which was paid in advance by the State, directly to the State.

The losing party must pay the administrator's fee, even if it is eligible for legal aid.

Costs for translation and interpretation


Case study

Translation

Interpretation

When and under what conditions is it required?

Approximate cost

When and under what conditions is it required?

Approximate cost

Case A

If a party does not speak or understand Hungarian.

The translator determines his/her fee. The fee is calculated based on the character count (approx. HUF 5 per character), the deadline and the source language. Translation costs incurred in connection with evidence provided and submissions made by parties entitled to use their native, regional or minority language during civil proceedings are paid in advance on their behalf by the State. These costs are subsequently governed by the provisions on the recovery of legal costs.

If a party does not speak or understand Hungarian.

The interpreter determines his/her fee. The hourly fee depends on the language used. Approximately HUF 10 000 to 12 000 per hour. The State bears or pays in advance the interpreter's fees in cases where interpreting is mandated by law.

Case B

If a party does not speak or understand Hungarian.

The translator determines his/her fee. The fee is calculated based on the character count (approx. HUF 5 per character), the deadline and the source language. Translation costs incurred in connection with evidence provided and submissions made by parties entitled to use their native, regional or minority language during civil proceedings are paid in advance on their behalf by the State. These costs are subsequently governed by the provisions on the recovery of legal costs.

If a party does not speak or understand Hungarian.

The interpreter determines his/her fee. The hourly fee depends on the language used. Approximately HUF 10 000 to 12 000 per hour. The State bears or pays in advance the interpreter's fees in cases where interpreting is mandated by law.


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Last update: 11/06/2019