Hello I'm desperate for advice. In June 2018, I decided to take solicitor to help me with divorce matter. We decide for fix price of £1500 plus tax, for process of uncontested divorce.
In beeginging of 2015 my marriage break down, I was married actually less than year, before we got separate in begging 2015. We didnt even live togethere (I'm not british, she is), we dont have kids, flat, debts togethere or anything like this.
In June 2018 I payed to solicitor for uncontested divorce. In end of the same year (2018), I and my solicitor where aware that my wife will not sign divorce petition freely. Until today, April 2020, almost 2 years time, my solicitor manage to do service of the Divorce Petition and Acknowledgment Of Service, as the same we already used all possible option on this stage.
I need to mention that on couple of occasion there where misunderstoods between me and solicitor, and as well I have to chase her for updates as she doesn't inform me almost at all about what happening with case, even for time of month or longer (each time when I'm trying to call her or send email she tells me, I'm asking the same questions, and she will charge me extra for it). Somewhere in middel of all of this my solicitor change as well office, about which court was not aware, and my solicitor didnt know that court didnt record this fact. I discover it by calling to court, as it was moment that I start to have doubts about my solicitor, and I wanted to check on my own what with my divorce by calling court. When I get in touch next day with my solicitor to talk about it, she was completely not aware and suprised that court is still sending everything to her old company (which I assume put my divorce matter in delay).
I think it's important as well to mention that my solicitor is forgeting about things (she actually ask me on one of face to face appointments if I been married before, she just forgot that she didnt divorce me yet) she didn't notice important email with details regarding address, day rutine, photos of my wife, necessary for Acknowlegment of Service, and she accused me that I didnt provide her this details.
Now I been informed by my solicitor that we use all possible options of uncontested divorce and therefore next step will be applying for bailiff, and the same, case is from now one contested divorce and she will be charging me on hourly rate of £250 plus tax.
Over 10 days ago I send her email with my concerns regarding time frames, quality of work done, and questions regarding break down of how she will exactly charge me. I didnt get respond until now.
I want to know if all this is normal, and if it should look like this, regarding time frames, way how she work and how she provide me her services?
I would like to know if my solicitor should charge me just extra for bailiff now, and then when we will apply for Decree Nisi it's something for what I already pay as a uncontested divorce?
I want to know if we need consent of my wife as it's already 5 years time when we are separately and we even didnt saw each other from beegingn of 2015?
I really get to point that I'm not able to handle it anymore, it's such stress, it's takeing 2 years, it's a lot of money, I cannot move forward with my life.
Apologized for my English.
I would really appreciate if somebody would be able to advice me.
If I am reading this correctly, the petition has been served but the acknowledgement of service was not returned. Is that right?
Do you know what the grounds were?? Unreasonable behaviour or separation for two years?
If the grounds used were two years separation with consent, that was not going to work if your ex was going to refuse consent. This should have been established before the petition was submitted. An unreasonable behaviour petition, if well drafted, should have succeeded regardless of whether she agreed with it.
If Acknowledgement of Service was the problem, there are various ways to show the petition was received. This may be a text or email. If you have such evidence you can apply for deemed service. In some cases a process server may be needed.
As you rightly say you have probably been separated for long enough to just be able to divorce on the basis of five years separation. The petition would have to be amended or withdrawn and reissued. NB you have to be married for a year before you can file for divorce.
If you signed up for a fixed price service, this would only have covered a straightforward process. You should have received a client care letter setting out what was included and what you would be charged extra for. A fixed price service only allows for very limited contact. Calls and emails outside this would be charged.
However if your costs have increased as a direct result of an error - such as failing to tell the court about a change of address - you shouldn't have to pay the extra. You should ask for an itemised bill and challenge costs related to delays caused by documents going to the wrong place.
As to how this may be resolved now, you may be able to change the grounds you intend to use. You will be well outside the scope of the service you signed up for so would incur charges.
You may want to talk to our helpline to see if we have a fixed price service that's could help you resolve this cost effectively. The number is on the right of the page.