Hi, I am new to this and have been in an abusive marriage which ended with his arrest. He has now petitioned to divorce me on the grounds of my 'unreasonable' behaviour. I was advised that this didn't actually matter - however, as everything is still under review with the CPS, it has not yet been heard. There is however a full non-mol which he has broken twice.
How to I protect myself and ensure that I do not have to pay his legal fees!?
Do I submit a cross petition or if not, how do I word a sufficiently strong enough response to ensure this doesn't happen?
The Court will be concerned with what is in the petition in order to establish that the respondent is responsible for the breakdown of the marriage.
You can cross-petition in order to get your petition across the line first, you can defend or you can accept the petition as it is.
The first two options are complex, expensive and in the case of defended divorce - ill-advised.
What you could do is intimate that you will cross petition on the basis of unreasonable behaviour (which seems likely to succeed given the criminal investigation) or that you agree not to defend the proceedings on the basis that the claim for costs is withdrawn.
If that is agreed you can complete the acknowledgement of service indicating that you do not wish to defend, you do not accept the allegations of unreasonable behaviour but you do accept that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.