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Greater willingness of High Court to make orders for costs in Family Law cases

By January 31, 2023June 26th, 2024No Comments

Greater willingness of High Court to make orders for costs in Family Law cases

It appears from recent judgments over the last number of months which have been issued by the High Court that the Courts are more willing to make orders for costs particularly where there has been some level of litigation misconduct.

In early 2022, in a case of T v K Judge Jordan concluded that there had been significant issues in relation to failure to disclose on the part of the husband. He decided that these should not be taken into account in the making of proper provision but the non disclosure should be taken into account in making an order for costs and he directed that a husband pay €160,000 towards the wife’s costs.

In the case of AN v KN, Judge Jordan was highly critical of the husband in his concealment of assets and that this had frustrated the Court’s task of making proper provision. The Court interestingly decided that inferences could be drawn from the husband’s failure to disclose and the court took into account that the husband was much wealthier than he was representing in his Affidavits of Means. The Court also directed that the husband pay the wife’s costs of the litigation.

As a general rule, the Courts do not award costs in family law cases on the basis that decisions of the Courts should not bring about a winner and loser, but it is only appropriate that costs be made where one of the parties has engaged in litigation misconduct such as non disclosure of relevant financial documentation.

For further information in relation to any family law matter, please do not hesitate to contact Brendan Dillon or Erika Coughlan on 01 290 0666.