Decree Nisi being pronounced next week with court cost awarded against me.
In my previous post in Ancilliary I have been advised by other posters to explain to the judge the unfairness of the costs as I was in hospital after a violent assault by my stbx.
I have tried speaking to my solicitor this morning for further advice and am awaiting her call back which may not be today as she is in court at the moment.
I have now phoned the court and asked them for clarification and the advice is this:
I need to write to the court now stating that I will be attending the pronouncement of the Decree Nisi and intend to oppose the costs. I have been told that the judge prefers that the said letter explains the reasons for my opposition rather than explaining nothing before the hearing.
My first reason is that I am on legal aid and because of the benefit that I am on, Pension Credit Guarantee, I am exempt from court fees because of my low income.
Second reason is that I believe that the Petitioner would not have paid court costs as he is also on legal aid.
Is it also prudent to include the unfairness that I should be paying the petitioners court costs given that he petitioned me for unreasonable behaviour whilst I was in hospital recovering from the attack and could not be discharged home, on the surgeons orders, unless I was going to a place of safety.
Would including such information annoy, irritate or cause the judge to be unpleasant with me because I am not sure that it counts as a reason to oppose costs, although if I was not on legal aid, it would be my only reason so on those grounds I suppose it would have to count?
It rather depends upon the judge as to what decision is made. However, in your situation I believe that you have a reasonable chance of persuading the judge that you should not have to pay costs.
The difficulty is that technically, the grounds of reasonable behaviour have been accepted by the court and the costs order should follow. The judge can vary the position though.
You had grounds to cross Petition but you did not - presumably because you were in no physical or mental state to do so.
Furthermore, your financial position precludes you from defending the divorce or cross petitioning (or from paying any costs orders). This, and you probably agreed that the marriage had broken down irretrievably due to the violence that you suffered.
Originally, I, through my first solicitor, filed for divorce. Unbeknowns to me they ''cocked'' it up and the Petition was sent back from court for an error to be amended in the paperwork - they never did this and did not tell me. AT the point of receiving my husbands petition I did not know what was going on as I thought my petition was being progressed.
Consequently when I received my stbx divorce petition womens aid got me a new solicitor who told me that legal aid would not cover the cost of defending or cross petitioning although I did wish to cross petition and basically there was nothing that I could do.
The stbx never progressed his petition and I was advised that rather than get his petition withdrawn for non progression it would be easier if we instructed him to progress his petition as basically it did not matter who divorced who.
To be hones,t you are quite right in that I was too unwell to put up any resistance as I had to trust the solicitor knew what she was doing. I did bring up the issue that he was asking for costs and she said I would not have to pay them.
It was not explained to me that because he was divorcing me on my unreasonable behaviour, that I would have to go to court to argue the position. I also argued that his reasons given on his petition was absolutely not true.I was again told that it did not matter because at the end of the day I would be rid of him.
I was under the impression that all divorce is ''no fault'', but apparently I am wrong because it now appears that I am the one at fault and being penalised for something I have not done as well as a negligent solicitor.
I am still not sure what reasons to put in my letter to the court as they need it by Friday and the solicitor that is acting for me now has still not returned my calls as she is stuck in a lengthy child custody battle so I am extremely worried that I will miss the deadline to put in my objection or will submit an appropriate opposition. Really, really worried:(
Filing something at court is better than filing nothing.
If you write something that is somewhere between your first post and what I wrote - more detail than my example but more succinct that yours and you should be able to fit all relevant issues on one side of A4. This is what you should submit to the court.
Your ex''s solicitor may attend court and they will ask for their costs of attending. If they don''t attend, your ex is likely to go alone. You will put forward your views and the other side gets a chance to respond then the judge makes a decision.
You need to focus on the fact that you cannot afford to pay, you were ill-advised by a solicitor and you were hospitalised due to domestic violence - all of which culminated in you not being able to pursue your own Petition (which I presume has now been dismissed) or defend/cross Petition.
Thanks to you I have been able to put something, which I hope is reasonable, into Court before deadline this afternoon.
Feel let down again by solicitor as phoned yet again to be told that I will be called back as solicitor would be very well aware of time line re Court. Obviously not as it has now passed with no help or advice. What I would have done without your help I really don''t know:kiss: