Our website is set to allow the use of cookies. For more information and to change settings click here. If you are happy with cookies please click "Continue" or simply continue browsing. Continue.

Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

11 DEC 2012

Doing the maths: costs orders in the family court

Chris Bevan

Barrister, KCH Chambers:

The recent decision of the Supreme Court in Re T (Costs: Care Proceedings: Serious Allegation Not Proved) [2012] UKSC 36, [2013] 1 FLR (forthcoming) has returned the issue of costs in family proceedings to the spotlight. In view of the court's judgment, this article asks whether, against a backdrop of imminent and swinging cuts to legal aid, the time has come for the family courts to make greater use of costs orders in both private and public proceedings. In Re T the Court restated the general practice of not awarding costs against a party in family law public proceedings, including against a local authority. The Court made it plain that, in the absence of reprehensible behaviour or an otherwise unreasonable stance by a party, no costs would be granted

Of course, to practitioners, this decision came as no surprise given that unlike other civil proceedings, family law exists as an exception to the accepted principle that 'costs follow the event' (CPR 1998, r 44.3(2)) with the unsuccessful party paying the costs of the successful party. The FPR 2010, r 28.2 expressly excludes the operation of CPR 1998, r 44.3(2) in this regard.

The full version of this article appears in the December 2012 issue of Family Law.

Family Law Reports

Family Law Reports

"The unrivalled and authoritative source of judicially approved case reports, covering all areas...

More Info from £166.00
Available in Family Law Online

Red Book Plus

Family Court Essential Materials

This ready reference guide for all family court practitioners and judges provides a portable...

More Info from £55.00
Subscribe to our newsletters