Page apparently missing from approved consent order - what now?

(16 Posts)
ChangingWoman Mon 21-Jan-13 23:00:19

I finally got a copy of the judge-approved consent order in the post today. When I looked at it, there were two copies of the first page and the middle page was missing. ExH has checked his and it is apparently the same.

I'm obviously going to phone the court number tomorrow and see if someone can verify for me whether this was just a photocopying error in sending it out to us or a a more serious error in what has actually been approved.

I have the sneaking suspicion that this might be the latest slip-up from the online solicitors I used to draft the consent order (did everything else in the divorce ourselves with some helpful advice from here since neither of us has any spare money). There have been other pretty big mistakes in drafting and filling in the info forms but luckily, and thanks to posts on this forum, I spotted them and had them corrected.

If the court has stamped an incorrect version of the consent order with a page missing, can we resubmit the correct version? The decree absolute hasn't arrived yet. The application for this was supposed to have been posted with the consent order.

oldqueencrepey Mon 21-Jan-13 23:06:39

as long as you and ex agree on his, that there is an extra page which forms part of the order you will be able to sort it out... first find out what the original on the court file, signed by the district judge, looks like! Probably just a photocopying error (court unlikely to approve an order with two pages the same / some obvious paragraphs missing). If not just an admin error then both you and ex need to write in to court explaining, with copy of order in correct form and ask for assistance. I think formally court would have to set aside the wrongly made order and then make the correct one... good luck!

oldqueencrepey Mon 21-Jan-13 23:08:45

"this" not "his"!

ChangingWoman Sat 02-Feb-13 21:10:46

Thanks Old Queen.

Quick update after investigations with the online solicitors and court officials. Unfortunately, it turned out to be another solicitor error for which they've now apologised profusely (again), written to the court etc.. promised to submit the full and correct consent order. Court officials advised that if they wrote with an explanation and the correct and signed order the incorrect one could be set aside.

I will be so relieved when this is finally signed off and I can apply for the Decree Absolute. After almost 2 years of this, it feels like I've been getting divorced forever.

HondaJizz Sat 02-Feb-13 21:38:41

Changing woman, can I ask a question? I received my consent order back from court this week. It had been stamped by the court and the first paragraph had been filled in to say which judge it had been placed before and on which date.

Did yours have anything else court- like on it? I think I was expecting something more signed and sealed...

ChangingWoman Sat 02-Feb-13 21:49:36

That's all that was on mine too, together with a brief covering letter containing court and case details. I think it's normal, unless anyone with more legal experience advises otherwise...

HondaJizz Sat 02-Feb-13 22:11:49

Phew. Thank you. It was just less than I was expecting. Good luck with getting yours finished. Mine took 2.5 years also...

ChangingWoman Thu 21-Feb-13 16:12:48

The saga continues. Corrected full versions received from the court are one copy ro me with no judge name or date or stamp and one copy to exH with judge name and date but no court stamp. Are either of these valid?!

On holiday at the moment so will have to phone court and check next week.

cbmum Thu 21-Feb-13 22:07:46

All Consent Orders received from the Court should have a court seal on them. It is a red stamp. It sounds like you've had a rubbish experience. Why don't you email the Court and see if it can be resolved. Go to the website below and type in the court you are using and it ill bring up the details for your court.

http://hmctscourtfinder.justice.gov.uk/HMCTS/

I can't say I'm surprised you have had problems. I was at a meeting today where a number of family solicitors were gathered and we all had tales of where online divorce sites had led to problems. I hope you get it all sorted.

ChangingWoman Fri 22-Feb-13 16:33:53

Thanks CB. Will be contacting the court as soon as I'm back in the UK. I hope I can get the order sorted out directly at this stage without going via the solicitors again.

Unfortunately, it was always a choice between a cheap online consent order or no consent order. I simply didn't have sufficient spare cash to use a local firm and did all the other divorce paperwork myself.

Yes, it has been a rubbish experience and I couldn't recommend this particular online company in any way to anyone. It was the simplest task of its kind, with no claims either way and all details pre-agreed in a plain-English format. I can't understand how they could mess it up but they have done several times over.

Collaborate Fri 22-Feb-13 17:35:08

Out of interest how much were you charged OP?

ChangingWoman Fri 22-Feb-13 19:14:48

139 plus 45 court fee

Xenia Fri 22-Feb-13 19:35:10

It must be stamped with the red seal to be valid.

Collaborate Sat 23-Feb-13 00:08:37

I suppose it was messed up as even this straight forward task needs a minimum amount of time spending on it to be done properly, and what you were being charged was too little to have a business model where you can budget spending enough time on it.

ChangingWoman Sat 23-Feb-13 00:56:11

Rather in line with that you say, from emails and signatures I came to suspect that the person who put much of the draft order together was actually working in the firm as a secretary rather than paralegal. I wonder if the majority of simple internet business is being delegated to support staff rather than lawyers.

Companies should have a reasonable expectation of delivering the service they advertise. You don't book EasyJet and expect Emirates-level service but you do expect a flight that goes from A to B (or at somewhere near B with a transit shuttle service...)

I certainly don't think that I should get bells and whistles for a knock-down price but I do think that firms should deliver exactly what they advertise or cease trading on those terms. (I am a very dissatisfied customer and will be complaining further...)

MooseBeTimeForCoffee Sat 23-Feb-13 01:18:38

Write a letter to the Solicitor running the firm setting out your complaint. Send it recorded delivery. Keep a copy!

You should have received some kind of client care letter telling you how to complain.

Take a look at the Legal Ombudsman website for details of how you can pursue it further.

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