Costs in family proceedings
Produced in partnership with David Salter of Mills & Reeve
Costs in family proceedings

The following Family guidance note Produced in partnership with David Salter of Mills & Reeve provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Costs in family proceedings
  • General principles
  • Application of the CPR
  • Divorce and civil partnership dissolution
  • Children cases
  • Financial proceedings
  • Enforcement
  • Making an application for costs
  • Factors the court takes into account
  • Available costs orders
  • more

General principles

The relevant costs provisions are set out in the Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010), SI 2010/2955, Pt 28 and FPR 2010, PD 28A. Certain parts of the costs provisions of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998, SI 1998/3132 (CPR) also apply to family proceedings with modifications, see: Application of the CPR. The general principles are:

  1. subject to other specific provisions, the court has discretion as to costs, ie it may make such order as to costs as it thinks just

  2. the general rule that costs follow the event is specifically disapplied in family proceedings, but in some circumstances the CPR will apply, see: Application of the CPR 1998

  3. in financial remedy proceedings the court will not make an order as to costs, save in specified circumstances—for the definition of financial remedy proceedings and the exceptions to the general rule see: Financial remedy proceedings and Practice Note: Costs in financial proceedings

  4. costs orders in children cases are rare, although in the discretion of the court, see Practice Notes: Costs in children proceedings and Costs in public law children proceedings

  5. when making an order for costs the judge should clearly state their reasons for doing so

Application of the CPR

The general rule that costs follow the event is specifically disapplied in family proceedings. However, in some family