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ancillary relief missed deadline

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29 Mar 07 #18 by vanessa
Topic started by vanessa
i've been trying to divorce my husband for over a year and he has been delaying but he has now started ancillary relief proceedings.we were meant to exchange our form E 27 march and i have done so but he has not. i took 3 days holiday so as to be able to spend time on the next stage of paperwork (17 april). i rang his soliciitor who told me he's not signed it yet and it'll be done in a few days. i am representing myself so would like some advice on my legal standing and how to proceed from here.
some advice would be appriciated
vanessa

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30 Mar 07 #21 by wikivorce team
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Vanessa,

Could you clarify one point for me. You mention that you have been trying to divorce to divorce for over a year but now HE has started ancillary relief proceedings. Is that correct? Who is the applicant and who is the petitioner? It is not critical but it makes some difference over who drives the process and how fast it may go.

As regards your main point - how to handle delays from the other side.

As a general rule the courts are suprisingly lenient over lateness to meet deadlines. If someone is a few days late on exchanging it may get noted but is not a big issue.

If one party is consistently late and unresponsive then this can then (not always) have some impact on claims for costs. If your costs are doubled because of unacceptable repeated delays on your partner's side then when it comes to costs you could possibly claim for those excess costs (i.e. in this example half your costs).

The item people often drag their feet on is the full disclosure (i.e. form E and the follow on questionaires or directions requests). If the other side delays on this for too long (many months) then you can request the court to issue directions for disclosure and attach a penal notice so that there is the ultimate threat of a suspended prison sentence if disclosure is not forthcoming.

In your case however, a few days or weeks delay is just an annoyance and something you have to deal with. It is not at all uncommon for one side to fail to turn up at a hearing (or ring in sick the day before) and so delays in the process are very common and the whole thing from petition to final hearing can run for 1, 2 or more years.

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30 Mar 07 #22 by vanessa
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thanks for your reply. i instigated divorce proceedings and have the Decree Nisi but have been waiting for final settlement before applying for absolute. he is now saying he is going for absolute and he has issued the ancillary relief proceedings. what difference does it make to me who gets the absolute or ancillary relief. i own all the assests except joint house bought under declaration of trust which he is disputing and a deposit funded by remotgage of my house. we were married 4 months before separating (2 months after the house purchase)
vanessa

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30 Mar 07 #23 by wikivorce team
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Vanessa,

Whichever one of you instigates the absolute or ancillary relief proceedings, it should not impact the final outcome.

For a short marriage (and 4 months is short) the court will strive to put the parties back into the position they were in when they entered the marriage (i.e. you get to keep what you came in with).

Unless you cohabited for a significant period beforehand in which case one side's lawyers may argue that the co-habitation period should be added onto the length of the marriage.

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31 Mar 07 #24 by vanessa
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we cohobitated on and off for 2 years but he had his own room and paid rent when it suited him. the situation began with him being a lodger and until we married he had and used his own room. would this be added to the marriage time?i had another lodger during some of this time.

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31 Mar 07 #25 by wikivorce team
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I am assuming from what you wrote so far that you brought the most assets into the marriage. Therefore you want it to be treated as a short marriage.

Even in the worst case if his lawyer successfully argued to include the 2 year sit is still a relatively short marriage. The most he could claim would be something like the increase in house value during the period of the co-habitation/marriage.

You should gather what evidence you can to show that the true co-habitation period was short (just the few months before marriage).

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01 Apr 07 #26 by vanessa
Reply from vanessa
I'm kinda hoping the courts will see it like that!!

I own a house which I purchased in 2000 he on and off lived there from 2003 to our marriage in 2005. I then remortgage this to purchase a joint house, we bought with a declaration of trust protecting my deposit but this document is being disputed by his solicitor. There has been little or no increase in either property during the last 2 or 3 years.
I also have an ISA and an endowment, both taken out to repay my original mortgage. I also have a pension. He brought no assets to the marriage and as far as i know has none now.

I am unsure how to proceed now or how to lay out the chronology or issues between us. i've searched the internet but it would appear this stage is not too documented. do you have an example of either? i'm assuming the questions will be clear once i get his form E.

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