When attempts at mediation and negotiation fail, sometimes one of the only options is to make a court application. This is also sometimes the only option for some things that are not easily negotiable, such as mobility applications. It is hard to negotiate whether or not your child can move to Paris .

The time and money spent on court applications can quickly add up and here are some of the reasons why:

  1. Your ex-spouse’s choice of counsel. Maybe your ex-spouse frequently changes counsel or maybe your ex-spouse has decided to represent himself or herself. In those situations, you can generally estimate your legal fees to increase substantially as well as the time required to resolve matters in Court.
  2. Unexpected court delays. If there is a power outage, a flood or a bomb threat, and your trial is scheduled to start that day, it will have to be rescheduled. The cost of preparing again for trial will not be reimbursed to you by the Court.
  3. If you are disputing a custody matter, there may be a costly assessment that is ordered, even if you do not want it. For example, a bilateral assessment can often take six to eight months to complete and may cost from $15,000.00 to $30,000.00.

If you are choosing to litigate your matter, you need to have a realistic and frank discussion with your lawyer about what the potential cost can be. Since nobody, including lawyers, has a crystal ball, it is impossible to give an absolute quote on what a matter will cost as most lawyers charge on an hourly basis.

One other thing to keep in mind is that even once litigation “ends” and the trial decision is rendered, there will likely be an appeal if you have been substantially successful.

Although an award of costs is generally given to the successful party, the award will never come close to reimbursing your legal fees, and it may be impossible for you to collect.