Costs

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is an order of costs?

    The successful party often receives an order of costs, or payment of money from the other party, to compensate them for their legal fees. Court costs are usually not enough to cover the entire cost of legal fees or out-of-pocket expenses. Costs are ultimately at the discretion of the court. When assessing costs the court considers many factors, including:

      • The relative success of a party,
      • The complexity of the case,
      • How important the issues are, and
      • Conduct of the parties throughout the legal proceedings.

    A self-represented party can also ask for costs.

  • How much are court costs?

    Tariff A of The Court of Queen’s Bench Rulessets out costs. Tariff B sets out disbursements (out of pocket expenses). Tariff A divides different family proceedings into certain classes that are awarded a set amount of costs. For example, a case involving parenting arrangements may have costs awarded of $1,500, just to compensate for drafting and serving the Petition.

  • What happens if I forget to ask for costs?

    Unless the issue of costs is reserved for a later time or dealt with in some way, you may not make a request for costs for that proceeding at a later date. However, even if you did not request costs, the court may have considered costs and referred to them in some way. Here are some of the terms that a judge may use when speaking about costs:

      • With costs – usual cost award using Tariff A.
      • Costs to be spoken to – if no agreement is reached regarding costs a further hearing will be scheduled to deal with the matter.
      • Costs in the cause – issue of costs is deferred until final hearing or trial.
      • Costs in any event of the cause – even if ultimately unsuccessful a party is entitled to costs for the present hearing.
      • Party-and-party costs on a solicitor and client basis – more than a general award of costs but less than what a client actually paid their lawyer.
      • Costs as between a solicitor and his or her own client – the amount would be what a party actually paid their own lawyer.