Case study 1 - family law - divorce - Lithuania

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In this case study on family law – divorce, Member States were asked to advise the party that files for divorce on litigation costs in order to consider 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 a same Member State (Member State A) get married. 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 Lithuania

Costs for court, appeals and alternative dispute resolution


Case Study

Court

Initial court fees

Transcription fees

Other fees

Case A

Spouses filing petitions to dissolve a marriage by mutual consent are exempted from the official fee in cases heard by a court.

Participants in a proceeding pay 10 Litas for a repeat copy of a court document, and 1 Litas for each page

The court awards payment of the litigation expenses incurred by the successful party to the opposing party, even if the latter is exempt from paying litigation expenses into state funds.

Case B

Foreign natural or legal persons are subject to the same conditions of exemption, reduction, deferral and scheduling of payments as apply to Lithuanian citizens.

The same as in the national situation

The same as in the national situation



Case Study

Appeals

Initial court fees

Transcription fees

Other fees

Case A

Spouses filing petitions to dissolve a marriage by mutual consent are exempted from the official fee in cases heard by a court.

Participants in a proceeding pay 10 Litas for a repeat copy of a court document, and 1 Litas for each page

The court awards payment of the litigation expenses incurred by the successful party to the opposing party, even if the latter is exempt from paying litigation expenses into state funds.

Case B

The same as in the national situation

The same as in the national situation

The same in as the national situation



Case Study

ADR

Is this an option open for this type of case?

Costs

Case A

Yes, after the essence of the dispute is identified in a preliminary session, the court will offer both parties the opportunity to come to a mutually acceptable compromise agreement and thus settle the case amicably.

Free

Case B

The same as in the national situation

The same as in the national situation



Costs for lawyer, bailiff and expert


Case Study

Lawyer

Is representation compulsory?

Average costs

Case A

Lawyer representation is not compulsory

See section on Legal Profession Fee Regulation above

Case B

The same as in the national situation

The same as in the national situation



Case Study

Bailiff

Is representation compulsory?

Pre-judgment costs

Post-judgment costs

Case A

No

No. Bailiffs play their role only after the issue of enforcement orders.

Governed by the instructions on judgment execution. Costs must be recovered from the debtor.

The amount depends on the kind of enforcement and quantity of execution actions – costs may be fixed, 60 Litas per hour or a percentage of the value of the relevant item(s)

Case B

The same as in the national situation

The same as in the national situation

The same as in the national situation



Case Study

Expert

Is use compulsory?

Cost

Case A

The court may appoint an expert or expertise for issues that require special knowledge in science, medicine, arts, engineering or craft, subject to the opinion of participants in the proceeding.

An advance surety in an amount established by the court must be paid by the requesting party. The government or an authorised institution establishes the maximum expenses. The court awards payment of the litigation expenses incurred by the successful party to the opposing party, even if the latter is exempt from paying litigation expenses into state funds.

Case B

The same as in the national situation

The same as in the national situation



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


Case

Study

Witness compensation

Pledge or security

Other fees

Are witnesses compensated?

Cost

Does this exist and when and how is it used?

Cost

Description

Cost

Case A

Yes, the amounts paid to witnesses are added to the expenses connected with hearing the case

See section on Experts’ Fees above.

See section on Experts’ Fees above.

The court must take into account the material situation of the paying party The amount depends on the nature of the procedural action and may not exceed 100,000 Litas

Other expenses include:

1) the inspection of a location;

2) defendant searches;

3) delivering court documents;

4) satisfying the court judgment;

5) reimbursement for curator’s work;

6) others as necessary and reasonable

See section on Experts’ above. Expenses for a defendant search must be paid by the party that requested a search or the court.

See section on Bailiff's Fees

A tutor has the right to receive remuneration for representation in line with tariffs and procedure set by government or its authorised institution. Representation costs are borne by the party on which initiative a tutor is appointed, who must pay his or her representation costs in advance

Case B

The same as in the national situation

The same as in the national situation

The same as in the national situation

The same as in the national situation

The same as in the national situation

The same as in the national situation



Costs for legal aid and other reimbursement



Case

study

Legal Aid

When and under what conditions is it applicable?

When is support total?

Conditions?

Case A

Primary legal aid can be claimed as described in the section on Legal Aid above.

Secondary legal aid is eligible under the conditions set out in the section on Legal Aid above.

The state guarantees 100% percent of the costs of primary legal aid.

The costs of secondary legal aid take account of a person’s property and income (see section on Legal Aid above)

 

Persons wishing to receive primary legal aid may apply to the executive institution of a municipality, according to declared place of residence.

Persons wishing to receive secondary legal aid must apply with documents substantiating the request and attesting to eligibility for secondary legal aid.

Case B

The same as in the national situation

The same as in the national situation

The same as in the national situation




Case

study

Reimbursement

Can the winning party obtain reimbursement of litigation costs?

If reimbursement is not total what is percentage in general?

What costs are never reimbursed?

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

Case A

Parties that achieve mutual consent to divorce are relieved of litigation costs.

The costs of state-guaranteed legal aid and those incurred by the debtor in the execution process.

Where the provision of secondary legal aid is terminated on the grounds referred to in subparagraphs 1, 2 and 6 of paragraph 1 of article 23 of the law. Costs can be recovered from the person to whom it was provided in accordance with procedure laid down by the law.

Where insurance benefits are paid out after the costs, the costs of secondary legal aid must be refunded to the state budget within one month of the payment of the insurance benefit in line with the procedure laid down by the Minister of Justice. Where a person fails to refund these costs, they must be recovered in accordance with legal procedure.

Where secondary legal aid has been provided (subparagraph 6 of article 12 of the law) but where the circumstances change (subparagraph 1 of paragraph 2 of article 11) such a person must refund the amount of the secondary legal into the state budget within the time limit laid down by the service. If they fail to do so, the costs will be recovered in accordance with the required legal procedure

Where 50% cent of the costs of secondary legal aid are covered, and an applicant fails pay his or her 50% percent share of the costs of civil or administrative the proceedings within the time limits required, the case may be terminated without the court taking a decision on the merits of the matter, and the applicant must refund the costs of secondary legal aid provided within the time limits laid down by the service. The state will be represented by the legal aid service.

Case B

The same as in the national situation

The same as in the national situation

The same as in the national situation

The same as in the national situation



Costs for translation and interpretation


Case

study

Translation

Interpretation

Other costs specific 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

All the court documents and their annexures must be submitted to the court in the state language.

A party, whose court documents must be translated into a foreign language, must pay in advance a surety set by the court to cover litigation expenses. If both parties submit petitions, both parties will pay the surety in equal parts.

People who do not speak the official language, are guaranteed the right to interpretation/translation services during the proceedings.

The court must pay the amounts due to interpreters/translators from the state budget funds.

Case B

The same as in the national situation

The same as in the national situation

The same as in the national situation

The same as in the national situation



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Last update: 07/06/2019