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Father’s solicitor ordered to pay a portion of mother’s costs in cross-Atlantic custody battle

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Recently, the solicitor representing a father in a custody battle was ordered to pay the mother £1,250 or 25% of the costs she had incurred to attend the custody hearing.

The hearing took place after year-long legal proceedings in both the UK and the United States. Mother and son moved across the Atlantic in 2013, after the mother remarried an American man. In July 2015, the father decided to end the legal proceedings in the UK and instead proceed in the American Courts. However, this information was not clearly communicated to the Court and a three-day hearing was held the week before last. It was only then that the Courts were made aware that the father had decided to withdraw from the process.

Neither the father nor the mother were correctly prepared for the hearing; the father had not filed his final evidence; the Court was only made aware of the situation on the first day of the hearing and the Court had not received all the necessary documents from his solicitors.

Although the Court believed that both parties were completely unprepared for the hearing, they ultimately ruled that the father’s solicitors should provide a written reason as to why they had not fulfilled all the necessary requirements. The written response from the solicitor in question was unsatisfactory and the Judge ruled that the solicitors ‘had failed to act on the present occasion with the competence reasonably to be expected of ordinary members of the profession’ and ordered them to compensate the mother with either £1,250 or 25% of the costs she had incurred, whichever was a lower sum.

This case shows the importance of finding competent and trustworthy representation. At Vines Legal we understand the severity and significance of child custody cases and represent our clients with professionalism and the knowledge required to achieve the best possible outcome. To discuss your situation with us, book a free initial consultation on 01246 555 610.

By Claire Clark on 24 Nov 2015, 11:03 AM

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