I filed divorce petition on grounds of unreasoable behaviour and respondent replied agreeing to divorce but he signed forms ( which his mistress had filled out,but still his signature) that he disagreed with statements alleged in petition saying these were based on fantasy. ( Despite fact I have documentary evidence of that relied upon) I then filed the next forms sent back in court swearing an affadavit, then court sent form that Decree Nisi would be granted on 11 Feb facts sufficiently proven. On that form it said not necessary for parties to attend unless order opposed. I heard nothing from the court that the respondent intended to oppose the nisi so did not attend. First I heard was today when a letter came saying on 11th Feb decree nisi was not pronounced but judge adjourned after hearing respondent in person that I had not attended and leave granted for respondent to file answer and on filing pronouncement hearing to be vacated and suit listed for directions for trial. What is going on here can anyone help? If he wanted to file any statement he could have at the earlier stage, now the divorce is likely to be protracted and drawn out and therefore he is increrasing legal costs unneccesarrily? I simply do not understand why I wasnt told he was going to ask for adjournemt otherwise I would have attended to plea to the contrary. As he stated he did not intend to defend then would he do that? Now matters that could have been speedily dealt with at lower cost. In an effort to reduce costs I filed application myself without solicitors( despite court saying earlier respondent to pay) what is happened? And why?
Are you on talking terms with your ex? Thats the easy way to find out.
In my experience its normal for the respondent to agree to Divorce but reserve the right to deny any of the specific points made.
It sounds like he disagress about one of the reasons for UB and is making a stand. The key thing is to get the Nisi so you can both move forward. I'd find out what he is having difficultly with and work a compremise.
He is contesting.Thats what happned. Totaly daft thing to do. He will lose. Its stupid to contest a divorce. The judge would explain it to him. Just follow the process. At least you will get a costs award against him. He will end up paying for the divorce. Stupid man that he is. Be strong. You will get your divorce. But it will take longer. Chris.
The rules say:
Filing of answer to petition
2.12—(1) Subject to paragraph (2) and to rules 2.10, 2.14 and 2.37, a respondent or co-respondent who—
(a) wishes to defend the petition or to dispute any of the facts alleged in it,
(b) being the respondent wishes to make in the proceedings any charge against the petitioner in respect of which the respondent prays for relief, or
(c) being the respondent to a petition to which section 5(1) of the Act of 1973 applies, wishes to oppose the grant of a decree on the ground mentioned in that subsection, shall, within 21 days after the expiration of the time limited for giving notice of intention to defend, file an answer to the petition.
(2) An answer may be filed notwithstanding that the person filing the answer has not given notice of intention to defend.
(3) Any reference in these rules to a person who has given notice of intention to defend shall be construed as including a reference to a person who has filed an answer without giving notice of intention to defend.
(4) Where in a cause in which relief is sought under section 12(d) of the Act of 1973 the respondent files an answer containing no more than a simple denial of the facts stated in the petition, he shall, if he intends to rebut the charges in the petition, give the court notice to that effect when filing his answer.
The District Judge's certificate was issued listing the Decree Nisi hearing and no doubt you received the communication from the Court to say there was no need to attend if anything sought ie decree or costs against H was opposed.
So first did you have any warning from H they were?
So did you seek costs and he objected...for if so you should have attended.
Now if you didn't claim costs and H didn't give any warning he was changing his mind then H is in the wrong and usually on any application like this if the DJ is to grant leave (permission) for the H to file an answer out of time (usually granted) H would have to pay your costs of attending the application.
Now the DJ appears to have heard and DETERMINED an application for which you have not had notice.
I appreciate H application seeks leave BUT you are entitled to prior notice and object if necessary.
Accordingly I believe you would be perfectly within your rights to write to the Court to have the DJ's order set aside even without a hearing and seek directions of the Court before the hearing of the H for leave.
Principles of "natural justice" you are entitled to have prior notice....
Now the issue here is (as SummerSun says) to find out what H's beef is?
If H just a control freak who wishes to cause trouble..if so it may be worth the delay and you deal with the defended divorce for as Chris M says you will likely get a costs order against him and the pleasure of enforcing that!
If you have sought costs H did not need to file an answer to object....get solicitor to find out if costs is his beef...if so apply to set aside DJ's order and at hearing point out H's error to DJ he doesn't want to defend only be heard on costs...that puts you in a stronger position....for once solicitor is told the costs issue is at issue I would personally file a sworn statement attaching the evidence you have..which may persuade the DJ then and there to grant the D/N and order H to pay costs.
You could compromise ie withdraw claim for costs or seek an order H pay say 50% or better than that a specified sum to avoid a detailed assessment hearing. Private case say £555 is c 50%.
Now if he objects to one of the detailed allegations made say Clause 12 para (b) the Court if you both agree agree to amend the Petition to delete the same and again if you and the H are in Court deal with the D/N there and then.
Now in fairness to the DJ and bearing in mind the "Overriding Objective" he has probably made the order in the hope of moving matters on and saving costs..the Court has a duty to manage cases.
If he has granted leave to H to file an answer and H misses the deadline you CAN proceed forthwith!!
It may be DJ thinks H's position is weak and that by listing the defended proceedings he will meet a sticky end. Trouble is I don't know the precise details of the DJ's order.
They do give the DJ a wide latitude as to the directions he/she can order at next hearing...
The overriding objective
These Rules are a new procedural code with the overriding objective of enabling the court to deal with cases justly.
Dealing with a case justly includes, so far as is practicable –
ensuring that the parties are on an equal footing;
dealing with the case in ways which are proportionate –
to the amount of money involved;
to the importance of the case;
to the complexity of the issues; and
to the financial position of each party;
ensuring that it is dealt with expeditiously and fairly; and
allotting to it an appropriate share of the court’s resources, while taking into account the need to allot resources to other cases.
Application by the court of the overriding objective
The court must seek to give effect to the overriding objective when it –
exercises any power given to it by the Rules; or
interprets any rule subject to rule 76.2.
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Duty of the parties
The parties are required to help the court to further the overriding objective.
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Court’s duty to manage cases
The court must further the overriding objective by actively managing cases.
Active case management includes –
encouraging the parties to co-operate with each other in the conduct of the proceedings;
identifying the issues at an early stage;
deciding promptly which issues need full investigation and trial and accordingly disposing summarily of the others;
deciding the order in which issues are to be resolved;
encouraging the parties to use an alternative dispute resolution (GL) procedure if the court considers that appropriate and facilitating the use of such procedure;
helping the parties to settle the whole or part of the case;
fixing timetables or otherwise controlling the progress of the case;
considering whether the likely benefits of taking a particular step justify the cost of taking it;
dealing with as many aspects of the case as it can on the same occasion;
dealing with the case without the parties needing to attend at court;
making use of technology; and
giving directions to ensure that the trial of a case proceeds quickly and efficient
Generally the Court does not want to waste resources dealing with defended cases and will try and put as much pressure on the parties to compromise...likely at the next hearing of the Directions for trial.
I would be amazed if therefore the suit is not carved up at the next hearing.
If agreement can be reached on issues before it will save you bothe legal costs. If not as long as you and H are at Court and a compromise then made the Court has power for the DJ to deem the hearing is in "Open Court" and pronounce the Decree Nisi then and there.