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Cancelled FDA due to virus - ex's solicitor costs

  • Charlie1984
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25 Mar 20 #511917 by Charlie1984
Topic started by Charlie1984
Hope everyone is well!

I'm self repping so I wonder if anyone can help.

I have just received a letter from my ex's solicitor asking me to fill in the questionnaire that was due to be discussed at last weeks FDA which was cancelled due to coronavirus.

Also they are stating that if I don't get a better financial settlement than the one they have offered I would be made to pay all the costs they accrue from March 2020. I did obtain legal advice (fixed fee) and the solicitor advised I would be entitled to a larger settlement judging by his form E but I have no money to cover costs.

Current assets as follows:
Me -£11,000 (negative)
Him +£140,000

My questions are:

1. Should I be answering the questions if we haven't even gone to an FDA yet?
I suspect they won't answer my questions as they delay responding to me until I have sent my info.

2. Can they make me paid their costs if I get less than the settlement offer (which isn't a huge amount so I have a feeling i would get more anyway)?

If there is an information which you need to answer these questions let me know.

  • .Charles
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25 Mar 20 #511918 by .Charles
Reply from .Charles
If the FDA did not take place, the Court has not made any directions in relation to the questionnaire therefore you are not compelled to answer it.

However, clarification of the form E is useful to facilitate settlement and if the questions are reasonable, there would be no harm in answering them. You don't have to but if it clarifies what you have already said, why is this a problem?

You can be ordered to pay costs if you are unreasonable in turning down an offer that is order or more advantageous than is subsequently ordered at a final hearing.

However, costs orders are rare, particularly when assets are limited. It would also be rare for a matter to go to a final hearing based on a low pool of assets which appears to be the case here.

Based on your post, there is a lot of information missing which might make a difference.

Charles

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25 Mar 20 #511919 by wikivorce team
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In most cases each party pays their own costs for Financial cases.

So no, you would not normally be expected to pay his solicitors costs so long as you comply with the courts requirements for producing financial disclosure and attending hearings etc.

If you are at all concerned then I suggest that you call the helpline on 01202 805020 and we can provide you with further detail on how costs work.

You are not compelled at this stage to answer their additional questions - but your may choose to answer some or all of them. At the FDA the judge would have filtered their list of questions and chosen the ones you need to answer - so that hasn't happened yet.

If you need help or support with this court process then we do have a low cost service where we provide a Divorce Consultant to assist you in managing your case.

  • Charlie1984
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25 Mar 20 #511920 by Charlie1984
Reply from Charlie1984
Thanks for your response Charles.

I have no problems answer my questions as they just reinforce my lack of money. My concern is that I provide the answers to my questions then they don't provide any to the ones I requested. They have already sent me a 2 page letter listing the questions they were going to ask the judge to strike off (which was pretty much all of them).

'You can be ordered to pay costs if you are unreasonable in turning down an offer that is order or more advantageous than is subsequently ordered at a final hearing.' So only once the offer is made an order I wouldn't be liable for his solicitors costs unless I turned it down?

What kind of info would you need?

Many thanks

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