A well respected, award winning social enterprise
Volunteer run - Government and charity funded
We help 50,000 people a year through divorce

01202 805020

Lines open: Monday to Friday 9am-5pm
Call for FREE expert advice & service info


What are we each entitled to in our divorce settlement?

What does the law say about how to split the house, how to share pensions and other assets, and how much maintenance is payable.

What steps can we take to reach a fair agreement?

The four basic steps to reaching an agreement on divorce finances are: disclosure, getting advice, negotiating and implementing a Consent Order.

What is a Consent Order and why do we need one?

A Consent Order is a legally binding document that finalises a divorcing couple's agreement on property, pensions and other assets.


Do you need help sorting out a fair financial settlement?

Our consultant service offers expert advice and support to help you reach agreement on a fair financial settlement quickly, and for less than a quarter of the cost of using a traditional high street solicitor.


Costs order

  • Anonme
  • Anonme's Avatar Posted by
  • New Member
  • New Member
More
30 Apr 19 #507347 by Anonme
Topic started by Anonme
After over a year of trying to sort out a financial settlement with the ex i made a court application. She cancelled mediation, ignored all solicitor communications and has been as difficult as possible throughout the whole thing.

We eventually exchanged form E’s as part of the court order. Her form was incomplete, had wrong adding up, missing info, lies and was so poorly filled out I’m struggling to see how a solicitor would let it be submitted like that. She left her pension value as TBC.

We have exchanged questionnaires, I’ve given my answers. She hasn’t supplied hers yet. One of the questions is what is the value of the pension (I don’t have one).

Chronology and statement of issues were sent to me 2 weeks after they were meant to be and she still hasn’t provided her pension valuation or even requested it from her employers according to her solicitors. I’m being told that teachers pension CETV’s are taking months to come through.

The first appointment was meant to be this week but solicitors have agreed directions so that we don’t have to attend. One of the orders is for her to reply to the questionnaire in 3 weeks time.

By the sounds of it, she won’t have the pension CETV for in 3 weeks time. She should have applied for it back in October when it was originally requested.

It’s important info because at the moment she’s refusing to offer me any share of the house (around £100k equity) and trying to make me pay for repairs that she can provide no proof of.

She is a high earner, I’m not. She’s saying I’m understating my earnings but I’m not.

At what point can I ask for a Costs order to be made and how likely is it it will be granted if she continues to frustrate the process? What will happen in 3 weeks if she still hasn’t provided the pension info?

After £4k in costs I’ve incurred so far I still don’t have a proper financial disclosure and it’s wearing me down.

Thanks in advance for your help.

  • .Charles
  • .Charles's Avatar
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
More
30 Apr 19 #507351 by .Charles
Reply from .Charles
In family proceedings, with the exception of divorce, injunction and enforcement applications, there are generally no costs orders.

In litigation proceedings costs usually follow the event which is another way of saying that the loser pays the winner's costs.

Provided that a party complies with court directions - even if done so in a shoddy fashion - a costs order isn't warranted.

There are exceptions and the main one is where disclosure takes place and a party makes an open offer of settlement which they achieve of beat at trial. In that scenario they can ask for their costs incurred from after the date of the offer. Those costs are not guaranteed though.

Charles

  • Anonme
  • Anonme's Avatar Posted by
  • New Member
  • New Member
More
02 May 19 #507393 by Anonme
Reply from Anonme
Thanks Charles,

So what happens if the pension information and answers to other questions such as borrowing capacity are not answered properly (I.e without providing proof)?

I initiated the courts process as I was advised that this would give a timeline to be stuck to so that the continued delays and ignoring communications would be stopped.

It doesn’t seem to be working and there’s no repercussions or ways to stop this happening then?

  • .Charles
  • .Charles's Avatar
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
More
02 May 19 #507394 by .Charles
Reply from .Charles
If a questionnaire is raised and the court directs that a party provides answers and documents, they must do so by the specified date.

If a party fails to provide information it is wise to warn them that they are in breach of the court's direction and that they should comply or an application for a penal notice will be made.

An application for a penal notice is the first stage of enforcement. The purpose of the application is to compel the party in breach to comply. The court will consider the application and if it has merit an order will be made.

All of this depends upon timescale. If your next hearing is next week there is little point in making an application as the court won't have time to consider the application never mind act upon it.

If your hearing is in a couple of months you have a better chance but even then nothing is assured. A half-way house is to write to the court specifying that the other party is in breach so that it comes as no shock to the court at the next hearing.

Where a party deliberately frustrates the court process this would be 'litigation misconduct' which is behaviour that is more likely to be punished with a costs order but nothing is assured.

Sometimes you jump through all of the hoops but the judge has a sore head that day and doesn't want to deal with any extraneous details beyond making directions for the next hearing.

Charles

  • Chrisb1579
  • Chrisb1579's Avatar
  • Premium Member
  • Premium Member
More
12 May 19 #507550 by Chrisb1579
Reply from Chrisb1579
Hello

I haven’t been to this site for a while as my case was settled last year but after advising someone going through the process this week that this site is a very useful tool I decided to have a quick look and see what’s happening.

I came across your post and decided to reply because it’s not dissimilar to my own experience and wanted to give you some hope.

It is true that generally each party bears their own costs however this doesn’t apply if the one of the parties deliberately sets out to frustrate the process by not giving full disclosure or adhering to the court timetable.

The court takes a very dim view of the party doing this.

In my case I managed to secure 3 separate costs orders against my former wife for such conduct and where she didn’t turn up at one the hearings the judge ask my solicitor to add additional costs to what we submitted because she thought it was too cheap.

If anyone reading this sets out on a path to do this the court takes a very dim view and will punish you accordingly at the end of the process ....make no mistake .

Similar to you my wife was the highest earner and set out to deprive me ...well of everything I was entitled to by frustrating the process so in the end it had to go final hearing. Anyway to cut a story short in the end I got 30% more than my offer to settle because of her litigation conduct and her attempts to frustrate the process leading to the case going on far longer than necessary....it was not complicated.


In the end my wife spent £40k if you included awarded costs for wasted hearing etc trying defend my offer to settle 30% less than I actually received whilst I spent £10k

It frustrating I know but stick with it ...her conduct is not going unnoticed and will count against her .

  • Anonme
  • Anonme's Avatar Posted by
  • New Member
  • New Member
More
14 May 19 #507570 by Anonme
Reply from Anonme
Thank you both.

This really does give me some hope!

I don’t want anyone to have to pay out more than is necessary but it doesn’t seem like my ex thinks the same way.

I’m having to borrow money to get through the courts and solicitors process and as I don’t even know the pension value I’m not sure when it would be time to cut my losses.

I haven’t got a date for the next hearing yet and am a bit nervous about it all. What happens at the second hearing? Do I have to speak or does my barrister speak for me? What kind of questions will they ask?

Thank in advance again.

Moderators: wikivorce teamrubytuesdaydukeyhadenoughnowTetsSheziLinda SheridanForsetiMitchumWhiteRoseLostboy67WYSPECIALBubblegum11