Expensive legal costs and none of this is my fault – can I get the Ex to pay?

Expensive legal costs and none of this is my fault – can I get the Ex to pay?

In family proceedings, the basic rule is that the Court can make costs orders as it thinks fair in all the circumstances. 

However, in relation to costs in proceedings for a financial order, they are subject to the general rule that the Court will not make an order requiring one party to pay the costs of another party.

Of course there are always exceptions.

The Court can make an order requiring one party to pay the legal costs of the other where it considers it appropriate to do so if the other party’s conduct before or during the proceedings has been less than helpful.

In considering whether to make a costs order the Court will consider:

 (a)    any failure by a party to comply with the court rules or any court order;

 (b)   rejection of any reasonable open offer to settle;

 (c)   wasted time/costs ie whether it was reasonable for a party to raise, pursue or contest a particular allegation or issue;

 (d)    litigation behaviour – ie the manner in which a party has pursued or responded to the application or a particular allegation or issue;

 (e)    general bad behaviour ie any other aspect of a party’s conduct in relation to proceedings which the court considers relevant; and

 (f)     the financial effect on the parties of any costs order.

Add to this that once there has been full and mutual financial disclosure, if you do not openly negotiate reasonably, then you risk having to pay the other party’s costs.  This applies whether the case is big or small.   If you run up costs unnecessarily, then you risk having a costs order made against you.

For more information

Contact us on 01206 577676 or you can email [email protected]

Statutory Legacy – What Changed?

Statutory Legacy – What Changed?

From 26th July the Statutory Legacy increased from £270,000 to £322,000, that is the amount your surviving spouse or civil partner will inherit under the rules of intestacy.

The rules of intestacy are a set of legislative rules which come into effect when a person dies without a valid Will. They set out who will inherit and who is responsible for the administration of your estate.

The priority of who will inherit under the Intestacy Rules is as follows: spouse, children, parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts/uncles, then lastly the Crown.

If there are no children of the family, then the spouse or civil partner will inherit the whole Estate.

When an individual has children of the family, the Intestacy Rules provide that the spouse should receive the Statutory Legacy, previously £270,000, and now increased to £322,000, all personal possessions and half of the residuary of the estate. The remaining half of the residuary estate will then be divided between the children equally. As it is normally the case, if any of the children are under the age of 18, the inheritance will be held in a trust.

This increase of the Statutory Legacy is meant to reflect the rising cost of living as well as to provide spouses and civil partners with an additional financial security. It is being reviewed regularly but as a rule it is reviewed at least every 5 years.

An important point to remember is that the Statutory Legacy only applies to spouses or civil partners. If you are cohabiting or in a common law marriage, then there is no automatic right to inherit or a right to the Statutory Legacy. For this reason, we recommend that if you wish for the estate to pass in accordance with your wishes you create a Will.

If you would like to discuss anything to do with Wills, Trusts or Probate, please contact our Private Client Team who are available for appointments on 01206 577676 or alternatively email us at [email protected].


For more information

Contact us on 01206 577676 or you can email [email protected]