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Defence of petition ???

  • Camberwick green
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01 Nov 07 #5624 by Camberwick green
Topic started by Camberwick green
My x2b is being served with the petition this week and although I am concerned at his behaviour recently (he has started his hate campaign on meand my family apparently after receiving something he thought was from me, I have no idea what!) I believe he will not contest it but will defend.

He wanted to petition me on grounds of Adultery but I refused to admit it and sign a statement to that effect, can he still use these grounds for a defence? how will this affect the petition going through the court procedure? I cannot seem to get an answer from anywhere detailing this part as most seem to skip that and assume they won’t be defended. I am petitioning on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour.

Thanks

Going slightly crazy 'ere :blink:

  • wscowell
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01 Nov 07 #5630 by wscowell
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Dear Jen,

We need to be careful about certain words here, because of what they mean in a divorce court. To "contest" a petition and to "defend" are the same thing. In both cases the Respondent (who "responds" to the Petition) is saying to the Court "This marriage is not dead. I don't want it to be dissolved".

You might be thinking of X2B filing a "cross-petition". This is a set of allegations against you, intended to shift the blame for the breakdown of the marriage to your shoulders. He is saying "I agree that the marriage has broken down, but it's not my fault".

The reason would be to try to avoid the Court ordering that he should pay your divorce costs. A cross-petition would be intended to make out a case for you to pay his costs. It's a risky ploy, it's expensive up front, the Court may decide "six and half-a-dozen" and award nobody any costs.

If a petition is filed on the basis of one of the "fault" grounds (i.e. adultery or behaviour) the Court will usually say "costs follow the event" and penalise the Respondent if the case is made out to the Judge's satisfaction.

If he can't "prove" adultery he could still allege "unreasonable behaviour" on your part, cite what he knows about the alleged adultery, and say "this is behaviour inconsistent with a faithful marriage" so a smoking gun is not needed. The Court will often say "no smoke without fire" when allegations of behaviour are contested/denied. They take the overall view of "OK, this and that are denied, but overall, we are satisfied that the marriage has broken down by reason of the Respondent's behaviour".

This seems a bit like a hand of poker, with each party wondering whether the other will blink first. Sorry, it's not so much a question of law as human nature! Good luck.

Will C

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01 Nov 07 #5635 by Camberwick green
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Thankyou for your reply and clarification, just one other question... there are no financial matters or children to sort out, so if he does cross petition how much longer could it take?

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01 Nov 07 #5668 by gone1
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Ok I contested and defended. Sort of. I made all the reasons up that are on her UB pettion. She is LA and I am not so I let her pay. Smooth I thought. What I did was on the response said I agreed to the pettion and signed it and on the comments bit I said I didnt do any of these things. And I was telling the truth. She wanted me to accept adultary and I refused becuase its wrong.

I know the above dont help you. But this may. Its totaly daft to cross pettion and its also daft to defend. It just costs a bunch of money and you still get divorced. Divorce is expensive enough as it is and its wrong to pay sols any more than we already pay them (no offence will)

Have you tried explaining the facts of life to him?

Sorry if I have not been super helpful. Chris.

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01 Nov 07 #5673 by Camberwick green
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Cheers Chris, you cannot tell that man anything and I have no contact with him he doesn't know where I am, yes it got that bad!

I hope he gets enough good advice and doesn't take that tack.

everything I have said is true and could prove most of it albeit by witnesses! all he would say is false or at the very worst circumstantial.

I am not hopeful as he has started a hate campaign on me and my family via our phones.

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02 Nov 07 #5708 by wscowell
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Jen,

I totally endorse what ChrisM said including the bit about solicitors' costs. We should get in, fix the situation, and get out. Have you considered getting your solicitor to threaten ex with an injunction under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997? He may back off then. It only requires two or more acts which have an upsetting/distressing effect on you. Just a thought. But defending a Petition, or X-petitioning, is just plain stupid. It ends up costing you financially the amount you were trying to avoid paying, and the emotional cost is significant - don't ever overlook this factor in litigation. Best wishes

Will C

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02 Nov 07 #5725 by Camberwick green
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Thankyou Will, I will have a word with my sol asap, I have kept her up to date so far.

I wanted the divorce as quickly and painlessly as possible but equally not dancing soley to his tune.

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