Case study 3 - family law - alimony - Northern Ireland

Save as PDF

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

Important Points to Note About the Information Provided

It should be noted that it is not possible to give definitive costs and the matters included below are indicative only.  Where possible actual fees have been included for certain aspects of the processes but these should be viewed as a guide only. Fees often depend on the tier of court used and the steps involved in the individual case. A full list of court fees charged can be found at Link opens in new windowthe website of the Link opens in new windowNorthern Ireland Court and Tribunals Service.

In case study B it is not clear if an order already exists in Member State B.  If so then this would appear to be the enforcement of such an order and as such it will involve the Maintenance Orders (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act 1972 and other legislation and treaties applicable.  It is therefore not possible to provide generic information on costs etc as this would be dependant on the countries involved and the relationships between the Member States.

Indicative costs in Northern Ireland

Indicative costs for court, appeals and alternative dispute resolution


Case Study

Court

Initial court fees

Transcription fees

Other fees

Case A

Application for financial provision (periodical payments and/or lump sum)

Family Proceedings Court – £50

Family Care Centre – £75

High Court –£100

Fees are £0.78 pence per folio or CD audio recording £25 per hour (if proceedings are recorded)

At Family Proceedings Court –service of a summons £10 or for personal service £13

and

Additional documents

£3 each

Case B



Indicative costs for lawyer, bailiff and expert


Case Study

Lawyer

Bailiff

Expert

Is representation compulsory?

Average costs

Is representation compulsory?

Pre-judgement costs

Post-judgement costs

Is use compulsory?

Cost

Case A

No – but High Court cases are normally more complex

N/K

N/A

-

-

No

N/K

Case B



Indicative costs for witness compensation, pledge or security and other relevant fees


Case

Study

Witness compensation

Pledge or security

Are witnesses compensated?

Cost

Does this exist and when and how is it used?

Cost

Case A

Loss of earnings etc. may be allowed at judicial discretion or agreed between parties

This may be construed as an application for a freezing injunction in relation to assets.

If so, fees as shown

High Court –

£200

County Court –

£115

Case B



Indicative 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

Funding can be granted to deal with ancillary matters such as maintenance, subject to the standard tests of means and merits

See left

See left

Case B

If the case is heard in Northern Ireland, the usual means and merits test will apply.

See left

See left

 



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

Such costs would normally be included in any agreement between parties or as ordered by the judge

N/K

All costs have the potential to be included as part of a court order

Clients may be liable to pay a contribution depending on their income and capital  (see Case 1A)

Case B

As above



Indicative costs for translation and interpretation


Case

study

Translation

When and under what conditions is it necessary?

Approximate cost?

Case A

If documents to be put before the court are not in English

The Current rate is £120 per 1000 words for every language or 12p per word.

 

Case B

 


Case

study

Interpretation

Other costs specific to cross-border disputes?

When and under what conditions is it necessary?

Approximate cost?

Description

Approximate cost?

Case A

If parties or witnesses do not speak or understand English

Minimum payment of £30.00 per hour.

Costs associated with service of documents

Depends on where to be served, acceptable methods of service in the other Member State and how many attempts required

Case B


The national language version of this page is maintained by the respective Member State. The translations have been done by the European Commission service. Possible changes introduced in the original by the competent national authority may not be yet reflected in the translations. The European Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice to see copyright rules for the Member State responsible for this page.

Last update: 26/06/2019