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Does 'fault' give leverage?

  • rdm
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27 Dec 07 #9596 by rdm
Topic started by rdm
My wife and I are starting divorce proceedings.

The seperation is entirely mutual and amicable. We both accept the reasons for our need to seperate and agree that neither of us is really at fault any more than the other. We've both been very open and have discussed everything to do with finances and the kids (that we can think of) and have arranged it all to be fair to both of us. So far so good.

However, for the divorce to go through with the minimum of fuss, time and expense we can only realistically base it on grounds of 'unreasonable behaviour'.

Since, my wife is the petitioner she has completed the D8 form and included a litany of reasons for why she feels it is impossible for us to live together as husband and wife. It's basically a slightly exagerrated list of all my faults which, while I'm not going to dispute, makes everything seem so one sided, as if the reason for the seperation was entirely my fault. That the only 'unreasonable behaviour' in the marriage was from me.

Do I get any opportunity to present my reasons for the seperation at any point? Do I get the opportunity to explain that there's been 'unreasonable behaviour' from both of us?

If I do not defend the petition in order to speed up the divorce, will this be seen as an 'admission' of fault on my behalf and will it give my wife any extra leverage in the future?

I don't want to accept fault and then be faced with the possibility of my wife being able to use it to her advantage in the future.

It's something both of us feel uneasy about and would feel happier if the true situation was reflected in the divorce paperwpork.

TIA.

  • attilladahun
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27 Dec 07 #9599 by attilladahun
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I assume she is not claiming costs or if so its 50% each.

No what you do to protect your position is on the Acknowledgement of Service form ..to the Q'n do you accept the marriage has broken down...put

"The Respondent does not accept the entirety of the allegations of unreasonable behaviour made and claims they are exagerated or untrue. In the event it ever becomes relevant to do so the Respondent reserves his position to respond in detail. Additionally he claims in any event he has grounds to himself Petition the Court on the grounds of the Petitioner's unreasonable behaviour. He is though not doing so in the interest of saving costs as he accepts that the marriage has truly broken down."

"If I do not defend the petition in order to speed up the divorce, will this be seen as an 'admission' of fault on my behalf and will it give my wife any extra leverage in the future?" [ No}

  • Specialdad
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28 Dec 07 #9619 by Specialdad
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Dont worry rdm as long as the behaviour is not criminal, the courts will almost accept playing tiddly winks as unreasonable behaviour and do not apportion blame to anyone.

Take it on the chin and move on. Not worth getting worked up over a few words and as attila says it doesnt have any effect on the financial settlement.

  • rdm
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28 Dec 07 #9644 by rdm
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attilladahun wrote:
Many thanks for the swift response. :)

I assume she is not claiming costs or if so its 50% each.

We're splitting everything 50-50. That includes any costs incurred during the divorce, any financial gains from selling the family house and any future maintenance costs for the children.

No what you do to protect your position is on the Acknowledgement of Service form ..to the Q'n do you accept the marriage has broken down...put

"The Respondent does not accept the entirety of the allegations of unreasonable behaviour made and claims they are exagerated or untrue. In the event it ever becomes relevant to do so the Respondent reserves his position to respond in detail. Additionally he claims in any event he has grounds to himself Petition the Court on the grounds of the Petitioner's unreasonable behaviour. He is though not doing so in the interest of saving costs as he accepts that the marriage has truly broken down."

That's greatly put my mind at rest. Thank you for spelling it out for me.

"If I do not defend the petition in order to speed up the divorce, will this be seen as an 'admission' of fault on my behalf and will it give my wife any extra leverage in the future?" [ No ]

Though things between us are being dealt with fairly at the moment there's, of course, no guarantee that it will stay the same for ever. So, it's good to hear that any potential future disputes cannot be influenced my non-defence of the divorce petition.

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28 Dec 07 #9645 by rdm
Reply from rdm
Specialdad wrote:
Thanks for the response. :)

Dont worry rdm as long as the behaviour is not criminal, the courts will almost accept playing tiddly winks as unreasonable behaviour and do not apportion blame to anyone.

No, none of the 'unreasonable behaviour' she listed was criminal in nature.

All of the reasons she listed were personal/relationship based, except for a personal loan I had defaulted on 5-years ago which has adveresly effected her credit record, yet, that is surely nothing that could be considered as criminal? There were very strong mitigating factors as to why I took the loan and subsequently failed to keep up payments.

Take it on the chin and move on. Not worth getting worked up over a few words and as attila says it doesnt have any effect on the financial settlement.

Heh, yeah, I'm quite happy to take anything on the chin right now as long as it speeds up the divorce and reduces any costs. The only caveat being that it doesn't give her any bargaining points in the future that can't be fairly contested.

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