decree absolute

(9 Posts)
soondivorced Fri 14-Dec-12 17:42:34

hi i have been separated for 4 years and have been going through a lengthy divorce process mainly due to my ex's incompetent lawyer. she applied for the decree nisi which was granted in sep 2011. she has a lawyer but i haven't been able to afford one. financial negotiations have been slow and painful but an agreement was reached in aug 2012. it took 3 months for her lawyer to draw up the consent order which as usual was full of mistakes and included things not previously agreed upon. i took it to a solicitor to check over and his advice was great. he also said that the financial agreement does not need to be in place before the decree absolute is granted so i applied for it. it was over a year since the nisi was granted so
the court have just told me a hearing has been ordered for dec 21st. i am worried that the decree will not be granted. my ex wants the consent order sorted first but there is NO issue of pensions and all else has been agreed. i have agreed to much more maintenance than a court would have granted (for both her and the kids) and given her 60% of the house along with all the contents. we both have very small pensions and are not claiming anything from each other. the only sticking point now is a clause my solicitor said had to be included referring to section 28(A) - he says if this is not in place then the agreement is meaningless and if she wants to apply in the future to extend maintenance or claim an inheritance she can. he says this is a standard clause and her lawyer is taking advantage of the fact i don't have legal counsel by not putting it in. all i want is for the divorce to be finalised now. am fed up with it all. will the judge grant it?????

kinkyfuckery Fri 14-Dec-12 17:49:45

If you can't afford a solicitor, can you not get legal aid to cover the cost of one?

soondivorced Fri 14-Dec-12 18:02:24

unfortunately not - the cut off for legal aid is ridiculously low

kinkyfuckery Fri 14-Dec-12 18:05:09

Then they obviously feel you are earning enough to pay for one.

olgaga Sat 15-Dec-12 01:20:39

You have been badly advised if you've been led to believe financial arrangements don't need to be agreed before an decree absolute when children are involved.

I'd go to another solicitor if I were you.

KateByChristmas Sat 15-Dec-12 06:49:27

Kinky not really helpful hmm

So ...... I would say (having done this) that getting advice is the right thing to do but filling out the forms and actually standing in court arranging all this is very much in your gift smile

You can get divorced without the consent order/clean break/money side of things being arranged but I would say (having lived through an ExW coming back when we had been married 2 years, with 2 DC) it's best to get all this cleared up at the same time. In our experience the judge was very understanding of the fact DH was a self repper and made sure he was aware of what was happening. Can only go off our experience but the financial side of it all just seemed like good old fashioned bartering and then a contract.

You can do this and do not have to spend a fortune - to put in in some context we did a case for a Contact Order and one for Ancillary Relief (money side) all at the same time (she reacted with an Ancillary Relief case when DH applied for a Contact Order). We spent £1,000 over a period of a year, with the other side spending £10,000. The scariest bit is the outcome is what we wanted anyway confusedconfused

We now have wonderful contact with DSS and the money side of things is done and dusted (CM was always paid anyway BTW). Life is good and it was all worth it.

Good luck OP

soondivorced Sat 15-Dec-12 08:53:32

thanks for that. it's always useful to hear other people's experiences. my problem is not that i don't want the financial side sorted - of course i do!!! i just can't bear it dragging on anymore. it has already been 4 years and we both need to move on with our lives. i think the unpleasantness will only end when we draw a line under this all. even though we have reached an agreement this could drag on for another year easily. my only desire is to make sure i am protected in the future against any further claims. without section 28 (1A) my solicitor said my ex could apply at any time to extend her maintenance period forever!!! we have both agreed to a clean break and maintenance paid until the youngest child is 19. she seems to think that section 28 (1A) means she could not apply to have her maintenance increased if my earnings drastically altered. my understanding is different - she can apply for this at any time and that is fine. if i earn more she can have more. all i want is to not have the potential for a claim hanging over my head for the rest of my life!!! can anyone help with the meaning of section 28 (1A)??

Collaborate Sat 15-Dec-12 09:00:40

There is usually no reason why the finances need to be agreed before the DA is pronounced. The only reason to delay the DA is if someone might lose important rights on pronouncement of DA, for example rights to occupy a property owned by the other spouse (there is a way around this anyway) or rights as a widow/er under the other spouse's pension that would be lost on DA, but would be provided for in any financial settlement.

Often solicitors, in a knee jerk response, defer to the logic that to delay DA is the safest advice for them to give. No one risks losing anything by delaying DA.

As you say that there are no such pension rights worth worrying about, go for it. If you have a record of agreement over the main terms then take that to court with you. Speak to your solicitor about what you can and what you can't show the judge.

soondivorced Sat 15-Dec-12 09:31:32

Thank you!

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