Hi, please can somebody get me on the right road as I have just received a divorce petition that it says I must reply to by Wednesday.
My husband has stated in the petition that we separated in 2012 - this is untrue, he started working away from home in 2012 but returned at weekends and we were still in a 'normal' marriage until approximately 3 years ago. Should I contest this or doesn't the time frame really matter?
We have 3 children, one at uni and 2 at secondary school. For the last 3 years he has chosen not to contact or see them but has supported them financially. We also have a joint mortgage and all household bills are still paid through our joint account.
Obviously, I knew divorce was inevitable but we have not had any discussions about it or about financial arrangements for the children or housing etc. He earns approx. 4 times more than I do and I will be unable to afford the house, bills etc on my own.
Should I respond to the divorce petition before I've had chance to get legal advice on any of this?
Thanks for any advice
The date of [url=Resources/Library/Cohabitation-and-Separation_s33_m1852.html ]separation[/url] could make a difference to the date of purported [url=Resources/Library/Cohabitation-and-Separation_s33_m1852.html ]separation[/url].
If your husband is saying that you separated 5+ years ago this means that your finances have been separated for the same period which might have an effect on any financial settlement. You should seek legal advice on this.
As to the petition itself, the worst case scenario would be that the divorce continues and the decree [url=Glossary/General/Absolute.html ]absolute[/url] is set aside as it was accepted by the court under false pretences.
If the petition is based upon the ground of 5 years [url=Resources/Library/Cohabitation-and-Separation_s33_m1852.html ]separation[/url], you could write to the court saying that you cannot acknowledge service as the petition is based upon a ground which cannot be proven.
However you should seek legal advice before you do anything to ensure that you don't going down an alley from which you cannot reverse.