Effective July 1, 2018, changes are coming to the Ontario Family Law Rules. Here are the major implications relating to Costs.
Current subrule 24(10.1) will be revoked and integrated into subrule 24(10), which will benefit from some improved clarity in its language. Under the heading Deciding Costs, it will make clear that costs decisions are to be made in a summary manner, that the court will determine who, if anyone, is entitled to costs (in relation to each step in a case), and that if judges are to reserve decisions on costs for determination at a later stage in the case, they must do so expressly.
Current subrule 24(11) (which outlines Factors in Costs decisions) will be revoked [note: the revised ‘factors’ will now be found in subrule 24(12) under the heading “Setting Cost Amounts”, replacing the current heading “Payment of Expenses”]. Subrule 24(11) will fall under the same heading as the subrule explained above, “Deciding Costs.” This might sound confusing, but luckily the content of the rule is quite simple – it simply makes clear that if the Court fails to address costs at any step in the case, it may do so at a later stage in the case.
As just explained, subrule 24(1) will now discuss Setting Cost Amounts, explaining that in so doing, the Court is to consider “the reasonableness and proportionality of each of the following factors as it relates to the importance and complexity of the issues: each party’s behaviour; the time spent by each party; any written offers to settle…; any legal fees…; any expert witness fees…; any other expenses…; and any other relevant matter.” The rule also requires any claims relating to fees or expenses shall be supported by “documentation satisfactory to the Court.”
As you can see, these things can be tricky. We’re here to help.
Call us any time at 905-851-5909, or visit us at 3300 Hwy 7, Suite 904 in Vaughan, ON.
That’s all for Costs! More to come on the Family Law Changes in our next post!