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What happens if they contest your petition?

  • WikiMan01
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19 Sep 07 #3635 by WikiMan01
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Hi All,

I appear to be at a fork in the road in my divorce. I have to decide whether to divorce my x2b on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour or adultery. Both are true of her, so that is fairly straightforward.

For those of you who don't know my situation here is a brief precis. My wife has been threatening to divorce me for 9 months. I had agreed not to contest either an Unreasonable Behaviour or Adultery petition, this was on the understanding that she would get it done quickly and cleanly.

We have been married for 9 years with no kids. We both work and have reasonable jobs, but I earn more than her.

She has registered an interest in the house as her name is not on the deeds and takes great pleasure informing me that she will not allow me to sell it. Otherwise I could sell up and just give her her half.

In the meantime she refuses to move out of the house and I am expected to finance her lifestyle with her making little or no contribution to the household bills and expenses.

She just refuses and quotes me some mumbo jumbo from her solicitor about "How a wife is not a lodger and can be expected to be kept by her husband, especially if he earns more than her". Meanwhile, every month my wages are decimated and she seems to be having the time of her life. Bless her!

Last month I received a call from my x2b's ex-boyfriend saying that after the way she had treated him he was willing to be named in a divorce petition. As a result of that, my solicitor wrote to the x2b's and threatened an Adultery Petition if she didn't issue a petition against me in a reasonable timescale (21 days).

Since then her ex-boyfriend has developed a yellow streak and refuses to make a statement.

Her response to the letter has been to say that she isn't ready to proceed and that if I issue a petition she will file an "Answer". It is clearly in her interest to brazen this out, as the longer she can stay in my house free from rent/mortgage and bill payments the more she is quids in. I'm still living there and the atmosphere is intolerable but I can't afford to move out myself. So I find myself in a Catch-22 situation feeling trapped.

Clearly proving adultery is going to be near impossible and extremely costly if she decides to contest the petition on that basis, which is what she is threatening to do. That's why I'm thinking Unreasonable Behaviour is a better way to get the show on the road as it must be harder to contest.

My solicitor is on holiday for another week so I'm high and dry and not sure what to do and as in these situations it is the waiting and the thinking that weighs heavily on your mind, let alone the feeling of entrapment and helplessness.

Does anyone here have experience of contesting an unreasonable behaviour or even an adultery petition? I'm concerned about how long it will add to the process and the cost implications. There is even a part of me that thinks to save the expense that I should just tough it out until she is willing to negotiate, but with my x2b being the "Queen of Procrastination" that could be anything from 1 to 20 years.

I look forward to hearing your sage advice.

UnderSiege

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19 Sep 07 #3640 by MsM
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Your s2bx sounds like mine. We divided up our assets upon seperation and have no children. He originally agreed to a divorce on a two year seperation, but is now withdrawing his consent. He is doing it not for any financial reasons, but because I have kept the dog. Unfortunately, he does not have a solicitor who may be able to knock some sense into his head. He also refuses to enter into a Consent Order.

If you (hopefully) have a good solicitor, he/she should be able to advise you on the best way to proceed and give an estimation of costs. I am asking my solicitor how much of the money I paid has been used (in writing) and an estimate of costs if he files an answer in court when I file my petition based on unreasonable behaviour. I will also ask her the likelihood of the divorce being granted on my grounds. May not be a lot of help to you, but it could give you some ideas on which way to proceed.

  • gone1
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19 Sep 07 #3646 by gone1
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HI US. She cant realy contest it. Well she can but she would be stupid to do so. It would cost her a fortune and she would have to fund it. What I would do is divorce her on the easest reason you have. Try UB. Issue your pettion. She will seek legal and he will (if he is worth is pay) advise her to sign and return. Then start off Ancilory relief. That will end it all.

Start being tough with her. Set out what you expect to pay and what you want from her. Write it all out. Start buying your own food etc and lock it away. Let her fend for herself.

You are not obliged to keep someone who you are divorcing. No one does this. But she is not being fair. But you are obliged to pay towards your roof.

Just pay half the mortgage and half the bills. Tell her what you want her to pay. Take the lead.

Dont worry about repo. They dont do it while a divorce is in progress and provided you pay your half you will be OK.

Now this is going to cuase an allmighty row so be prepped. But you are within your rights so be firm. But what ever you do dont get nasty. Just be firm.


I lived in this environment for 11 months while she sat her fat BF at the dining table and her and her sprogs had a merry old time eating the grub that I paid for. I also bought and cooked my own food and eat it either in the garden or the garage. So I know what its like to live in this situation. It bad mate and the quicker you are out of it the better. Chris.

  • WikiMan01
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19 Sep 07 #3647 by WikiMan01
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Thanks MsM for your advice and suggestions. I realise I'll have to wait until my solicitor gets back but it is hard when you're obsessing about it all the time. I'm sure that you, like me, just want to get it sorted out. But when you have x2b's like ours they just mess you around and refuse to talk. We live in the same house and I have to communicate with her through her solicitor for goodness sake!

Chris, thanks for your moral support, it is good to know that someone else has been through it and there is light at the end of the tunnel. Sadly, my x2b is the kind of person who would contest the divorce. She very clearly wants this on her terms. Her friend told me that she has taken out a very large loan to fund her legal expenses and given her solicitor a sizeable deposit. The trouble with doing that is it is almost encouraging the solicitor to stretch things out.

I'm still interested to hear anyones stories of divorces that were contested though. Anyone experienced it?

Under Siege

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19 Sep 07 #3649 by gone1
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Hi US. Ok fair one. I would be surprised if you hear from anyone. To contest is madness. Its like standing in the road and stuffing money down the drain. If she wants to give the money away tell her to give it to me. I wont say no. :)

Chris.

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19 Sep 07 #3652 by WikiMan01
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Hi Chris,

The only way you'll make any money out of her is if you're her solicitor or her psychologist. Good luck. :)

US

  • LittleMrMike
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19 Sep 07 #3677 by LittleMrMike
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Contesting a divorce petition is very rare, I think I read somewhere that there are only 50 defended divorces a year in England and Wales.

I think I would be inclined to suggest that you might consider a double headed petition alleging both UB and adultery and then in your petition you make no claim for costs as long as the petition is not defended. If the petition is defended, then to ' prove ' adultery you need to show inclination and opportunity . I don't know how strong your case is, but if the petition were to be defended then a transfer to the High Court is a possibility. I doubt whether your wife would get any form of legal assistance to defend a divorce , on the grounds that a private client would be ill advised to incur the expense.

I think it is essential that you discuss the matter with your lawyer, but I think your wife's conduct seems to smack of bravado, and that faced with a demand from her solicitor for a substantial payment on account she might think twice.

Mike

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