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  • Court costs

    Would normally spend hours researching this type of thing but am becoming battle weary with all of the divorce BS, so I seek your collective knowledge and expertise.

    Have a lot of stuff now being thrown around by her (wingnut) lawyer about if I don't sign the current "offer" and we go to court that I will have to pay her court costs. Can someone please explain to me the current court costs concept and what specifically it entails. (just court related costs, her attorney fees?, what?)


    HatesCheaters(and lawyers!)

  • #2
    Awarding a party costs only adds insult to injury, if you ask me. Any party can request that their court costs be paid by the other party. Most judges tend to ignore this request, as both parties are in court for reasonable reasons. However there are times, and judges (as we recently learned) who are not only biased, but also disloyal to the laws of the family court, and who - on their whim - will make rulings that will cause your jaw to drop.

    The rule of thumb, as they say, when it comes to court costs is that if one party takes another party to court, and that other party believes there is no reason for taking the matter in front of a judge, that party can then request costs, and if the party bringing the motion to court "loses," they are ordered by the judge to pay the other party's legal fees (and sometimes the loss of income associated by taking time off to be present in court).

    Like I said, it only adds insult to injury. Not only do you lose by not getting the ruling you've been hoping for, you are now obligated to not only pay your own legal costs, but those of the party you lost to as well.

    FYI - In our 3 experiences with the family court, with the other party requesting costs for each, the request was thrown out by the judge on one occasion, it was put off for another judge at another court date, and it was awarded to the other party at the latest court date.


    • #3
      Rule 24 of the Ontario Family Law Rules, sets out the basics for awarding costs.

      It is a basic presumption that the sucessful party is entitled to costs. However, the decision to award costs is based solely on the Judge.

      If a Judge decides that a party has acted unreasonably, they will most likey have to pay the other parties costs.
      An example would be if a person was ordered to disclose their financials for a court date, and failed to do so, the Judge would order that person to pay the other persons legal fees/lawyers bill, for the court appearance.

      With regards to an "offer to settle", if you were to refuse a settlement offer, and in the end, the Judge awards a result that is similar to the proposed settlement, the Judge can, and probably will, order you to pay ALL of your ex's legal fees, from the date of the settlement offer, to the final court date.

      It is a tactic used by Lawyers to race to be the first to offer to settle a case; however, they will wait until after full financial disclosure, so that they can see how much money you have.

      They want to know upfront how hard they will have to work to get you to fight with your ex.

      If, between the two of you, you have some assets/cash, they will get the fangs flying, so that they can drag it out, and make more money.

      So, basically whenever an offer to settle is brought forward, before you reject it, really consider your chances of getting a better result if you keep could end up losing the fight and paying BOTH of your legal bills $$$$$$$

      Good Luck

      Courts of Justice Act - O. Reg. 114/99


      • #4
        It's a common scare tactic used by all lawyers to intimidate and threaten the other side to comply to their request or Motion. So don't let it intimidate you. If you don't like their current offer and feel it is unreasonable then make a counter offer and throw the onus (and Court costs) back to them.


        • #5
          Originally posted by representingself View Post
          If, between the two of you, you have some assets/cash, they will get the fangs flying, so that they can drag it out, and make more money.
          This is so true. My ex's lawyer has been nothing but a bully so far because of this. They have been making offers so unreasonable that it is impossible for me accept them. (Example: handover the custody against the OCL recommendation). My ex is on legal aid so they know I am on the hook for legal costs even if they lose as no judge will ever order legal aid to pay for my costs.

          Another rule in family court is that whoever works harder between the two parties will be screwed financially.


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