He appears a control freak...
Now there are times when actually going to Court on a issue does make sense....if genuinely the only reason he cross petitioned was to save costs he had no need to do so.....I would actually do the opposite and suggest that your open proposal is that your petition is allowed to proceed undefended his cross petition is dismissed and in return you will drop the claim for costs but H must accept the proposal by 4pm [a date 14 days from the letter-after which the letter will make it absolutely clear your instructions are that the defended action will proceed].
Now whilst it really doesn't matter who divorces who a feature of control freaks is you will always have a problem with that behaviour unless you put a stop to it...one way is ultimately warning H you will seek an occupation order and non molestation order....and if you do then persue an order for costs forget H giving an undertaking.
Now I had a similar case when H chanced his arm and when the DJ had a directions hearing he was told the offer by W to drop costs was a sensible and practical proposal that had been ignored...he was warned his cross petition was weak...and there were now 2 scenarios:
1. You prove your petition and his cross petition gets dismissed so you get costs...not a small sum so when you enforce...H is on "the back foot".
2. Even if you prove your Petition and he proves his cross petition you are unlikely to be condemned in costs as the Decree Nisi
could have been pronounced earlier.
Another perhaps novel approach is to wait for his next controlling behaviour and harassment and then issue contemporaneously:
A Non Molestation Application
B occupation order which will give you sole right to occupy FMH to H's exclusion and at the same time the Court can order at the same time H to pay or contribute to specified outgoings like the mortgage of the FMH!!
C Your solicitor also lists for directions at the same time the issue of the defended divorce.
No H will have to attend Court as you will and if a compromise is reached the DJ can actaually not only grant the DJ certificate BUT actually pronounce the Decree Nisi as both parties are present at Court.
Compromise could therefore be:
Cross decrees -no costs-& D/N pronounced
Non Mol & Occupation order made giving you sole occupation of FMH
Even if no order as to costs
You have moved matters along hugely
Got protection and peace of Mind
Got your decree nisi which is important as no capital order of transfer of property order can be made until the D/N and is enforceable on the D/Absolute.
The fact he is seeing someone else will no doubt help in the financial proceedings if the relationship flourishes. He can start to control her instead:)