Q&As

In proceedings for a child arrangements order, are there costs consequences if a party appeals an order following a fact-finding hearing? Do the usual considerations as to costs in children proceedings apply to such an appeal?

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Produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 22/05/2019

The following Family Q&A produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • In proceedings for a child arrangements order, are there costs consequences if a party appeals an order following a fact-finding hearing? Do the usual considerations as to costs in children proceedings apply to such an appeal?

The costs regime in the Children Act 1989 cases disapplies the ordinary principle contained within the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 (CPR), SI 1998/3132 that costs follow the event by virtue of the Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010), SI 2010/2955, 28.2(1). While the rule applies CPR 44 to such proceedings, CPR 44.2(2)–(3) (previously 44.3) are disapplied. As a result, notwithstanding the suggestion in Gojkovic v Gojkovic (No 2) that the general rule is still likely to be the starting point but is more readily displaced, the Family Courts are more reluctant to make costs orders. In Re T (a child) (order for costs), the Court of Appeal suggested that in some cases involving children, costs awards are exceptional as the court is anxious to avoid the feeling of punishment, reducing co-operation and impinging on welfare. The conduct of the parties is the major consideration in deciding whether an exceptional order for costs should be made, and should only be made if the penalised party has been unreasonable in their litigation conduct.

Costs in fact-finding hearings may be more readily awarded however, as the costs of that hearing are referable to the allegations in question (Re J (children) (costs of fact-finding hearing)).

The Court of Appeal has

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