I am supporting my friend through her divorce. She has recently 'served' papers on her STBX for a financial settlement. She has reason to believe that the papers are being ignored or may have been discarded - the STBX has a history of frustrating efforts to reach a settlement. My friend is contacting the court offices to see if they received a response from STBX for the 1st hearing - if not what happens? can someone please advise? my friend is very stressed as you can imagine....many thanks
What do you mean by "served"? Do you mean that the Court sent the notice of first appointment to the ex?
If the court has listed a hearing, there will be standard directions which would include filing and serving the form E financial statement.
If the ex fails to comply the first hearing will take place and the Judge will likely re-list it for a future date and make directions for filing of the missing documents. The order may include a penal notice which is the first rung of a very short ladder to imprisonment for contempt of Court..
Many thanks for your response. My friend applied for a financial remedy through the courts; they duly sent all the papers, ie the form E, plus instructions including dates etc., to my friend to serve on her STBX. This she duly did by recorded post as instructed by the court - so she has proof that delivery was effected to the premises and likely received by one of the two adult children residing at the marital home. Because of covid -19 there is no signature as the delivery person signs instead. My friend checked with the court this morning and STBX has not responded - this was around 2 weeks ago - the 1st hearing is 27th April. Thank you again.
Unlike the divorce petition, the notice of first appointment doesn't have to be 'served' in the same way - the court sends this out by post. It is normally the notice plus a copy of the application (Form A) but not the form E as the parties are meant to source this themselves (the PDF is available for download from the Court website.
I'm confused by the instruction from the court to serve the papers by recorded delivery. It's not a procedure with which I'm familiar.
The notice may be sent to the applicant with instructions to serve it on the other side if e. g. there is no address given for the respondent.
The court needs to be satisfied that every effort has been made to ensure that the other party is aware of the hearing. If they are not, directions for further attempts to find and notify, including using a process server.
If the respondent is aware of the hearing (and the court is satisfied of this) but is just not complying, then the process outlined by Charles would be followed.
The Notice sets out dates for exchange of form E etc. All documents have to be filed with the court on those dates. It is worth checking whether anything has been filed, the instructions may have been misunderstood.
Thank you very much for your responses (both Charles and hadenoughnow). The respondents address was very clear and my friend did think it a bit odd that she was sent the papers for her STBX; however these were sent recorded delivery - as instructed by the court and have now been delivered and received from the postman by the adult daughter of my friend. What we were trying to find out is has the STBX actually received the package as he has, so far, not responded to the court to confirm the 1st hearing date - or is he just ignoring the papers. I guess its a waiting game to some extent. Thank you both again.
He does not have to respond to the court to confirm the date, he just has to comply with the notice. This means filing (with the court) and exchanging form E and following that with the rest of the FDA documents in accordance with the timetable.
The Notice of first appointment is sent with a Form G. This is often confused for some kind of acknowledgement. It is in fact a form to be completed after exchange of form E to say whether or not the hearing can be FDR, the hearing at which settlement can be agreed.