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Can you be forced to sign the Divorce Absolute?

(26 Posts)
Tamisara Mon 26-Nov-12 13:40:33

I'm asking on behalf of my Dsis, and I'm a bit confused as to the proper terminology.

Basically - she is going through an acrimonious divorce. Her stbxh has agreed to sign the house over to her as long as she gets a mortgage beforehand (I think she'd have been better off selling and getting a cash settlement, but not my decision, and Dsis thinks their son is settled there).

Her ex has given her very little time to arrange a mortgage and has arranged a court hearing in a couple of days to finalize the divorce.

She wants to know if she can be forced to sign, or if she can delay for two years?

MOSagain Wed 28-Nov-12 13:01:04

ahh, she's back! <wonders whether a certain poster works for the SLA or perhaps the Daily Mail?>

Xenia Wed 28-Nov-12 10:48:30

Gosh, not very nice all this. No one expects advice here to be full essay type stuff but I think people do get initial points quickly from good people which off line they can find very hard to get.

So she signed a consent order? Was that approved by the court too? It does trouble me that people sign things saying mortgage will be transferred to XYZ or husband will be taken off the mortgage and yet in a business transcation you would never do anything remotely like that until you had 100% assurance from a lender and confirmation in writing from a bank they would do XYZ and yet they enter into these pathetic wooly non obligations in family stuff all the time it seems.

I suppose for the future people should not agree things that may not be possible or accept that their ex wife will take them off the mortgage and refuse to finalise anything until she actually has him taken off a mortgage otherwise she gets all her money etc but he is saddled with a mortgage which means he can never move on with his life at all. And yes with one of my off spring we have been looking at loans and see the criteria etc and you cannot just assume it is easy.

olgaga Wed 28-Nov-12 10:08:09

There's no point blaming me for your brusque manner on the other thread. Or indeed any thread.

Collaborate Wed 28-Nov-12 09:01:42

Perhaps if I didn't have to spend as much of my time here as I do responding to your snipes or justifying the advice I give because you tell me I'm wrong I might be able to expand further. I do have a day job to consider.

olgaga Wed 28-Nov-12 07:49:23

If you have ever given professional advice to people getting divorced you would know that the birth of a child before decree absolute could get picked up on by the court.

I think it's a pity you couldn't bring yourself to reassure LouP19 on her thread when the question Would the court grant a divorce if she opposed it on basis that she is pregnant? was asked.

Instead you simply responded That's no defence. without bothering to clarify and explain, as you have here.

Sometimes people who are "not legally qualified" don't always ask the right questions. In those circumstances, I feel your trademark brusque response in those circumstances can be unhelpful. Particularly when people come here for further explanation or reassurance because their own solicitors have been unhelpful in exactly the same way.

It's your style rather than your advice which lets you down.

Collaborate Wed 28-Nov-12 01:02:12

I shall forgive Olgaga as she has no legal qualifications, but there is of course a difference between applying for DA as Petitioner and as Respondent.

There is another way to delay decree absolute in 5 year separation cases, but that's a different story.

And yes, Olgaga, the other thread was about children. If you have ever given professional advice to people getting divorced you would know that the birth of a child before decree absolute could get picked up on by the court.

STIDW is particularly spot on in her post of 18:39. smile

STIDW Tue 27-Nov-12 22:47:51

Sigh.. I'm not sure it's particularly helpful to OP to debate issues raised on another thread. If they want posters can make up their own minds the thread is here;

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/legal_matters/1615004-Solicitors-styles?pg=2

olgaga Tue 27-Nov-12 22:35:07

No it wasn't. The OP isn't due to have her baby until mid-March.

STIDW Tue 27-Nov-12 22:32:21

Quite. I hope Collaborate is reading this. He was saying on another thread:

The only way in which divorce could be delayed in a non-separation petition is if the court is unable to pronounce satisfaction in relation to the arrangements for the children.

Collaborate was talking about children which is what that particular thread was about.

olgaga Tue 27-Nov-12 21:54:07

IF they don't the respondent can apply and then there is a hearing so the petitioner has the opportunity to show a good reason why the absolute shouldn't be granted.

Quite. I hope Collaborate is reading this. He was saying on another thread:

The only way in which divorce could be delayed in a non-separation petition is if the court is unable to pronounce satisfaction in relation to the arrangements for the children.

Tamisara Tue 27-Nov-12 21:29:21

Thank you all for your replies thanks

Well, it's all over now anyway - seems Dsis couldn't get the court date right!

Xenia She'd already signed a consent order. Her solicitor wanted cash, but Dsis insisted on the house, as she would only be able to afford to live in the town where our parents & I live - but it's not good enough for her. God only knows how she will afford a mortgage... she's just been on the phone to me & I couldn't make sense of what she was saying.

Holla When my XBIL first cheated on Dsis, I did take time off work, going to various solicitors with her. She then decided to wait, until it became clear that he wanted out. To be honest I've had enough problems of my own to go trudging around solcitors with her - I had enough 7 years ago.

I really only asked as my mum & her were badgering me. To be honest why they couldn't do it themselves only they know.

Dsis earns more a year than me, so does my Dbro, yet my poor retired parents, have remortgaged their house, to pay for things for Dsis & for Dbro (who lives with them rent free). I can't even justify paying out for a headstone for DD2, which I'd really like, but would never ask mum or dad.

Aargh! Where can you divorce families? <just kidding>

Thanks again smile

STIDW Tue 27-Nov-12 18:39:23

I am not a lawyer but I agree with Collaborate internet forums aren't the best place for legal information. I'm sure one of the family lawyers will correct me if I'm wrong but my understanding is this;

6 weeks after the nisi has been granted the petitioner can apply for the absolute. IF they don't the respondent can apply and then there is a hearing so the petitioner has the opportunity to show a good reason why the absolute shouldn't be granted. The judge decides whether to grant the absolute decree or not. A good reason is the petitioner being financially disadvantaged by no longer being married.

A petitioner would be disadvantaged if, for example, they no longer have home rights or the respondent has a large pension fund with death benefits that would be lost on divorce. Otherwise there is no need to panic about the absolute being granted before the finances are resolved.

HollaAtMeBaby Tue 27-Nov-12 16:47:02

Xenia is a very high-powered solicitor, though not in family law/AR, IIRC. Xenia do you mean that the OP's sis should refuse to sign the absolute until she has an approved mortgage? I think that's what she's trying to do.

olgaga Tue 27-Nov-12 16:35:32

Well it's pretty obvious isn't it Xenia? The finances aren't sorted. Getting a mortgage is not straightforward these days.

OP, your sister needs a solicitor.

Xenia Tue 27-Nov-12 16:01:36

Interesting point is why does she want delay? Surely it is better if everything is sorted out and she puts in her mortgage application, gets it approved as only when they know her husband will be let off the mortgage is anything certain at all. She should get the finances agreed in a court consent order before the absolute. Nothing to get her and him agreeing these very soon. Why does she want it held up?

olgaga Tue 27-Nov-12 15:54:15

No it doesn't have to be signed, you sign papers for the nisi. However, there is a six week period in which you can intervene if you wish.

frantic51 Tue 27-Nov-12 15:45:16

Decree Absolute doesn't have to be signed, does it? Mine went through without my knowledge.

HollaAtMeBaby Tue 27-Nov-12 15:41:39

I see... Tami maybe your time would be better spent helping your sister find and switch to a better solicitor? they're not cheap! Maybe Collaborate can advise smile

olgaga Mon 26-Nov-12 18:46:31

Yes that's right, an absolute can be delayed if finances aren't resolved. They may need to revisit their agreement if she can't get a mortgage.

By the way, it's trickier than it seems - banks now have very strict affordability criteria.

Also, you have to be pretty sure you are going to get a mortgage before you make a formal application. Every application is registered, and if you make more than two or three at once it will be noted against your credit file - and that in itself will count against you!

Your friend would be well advised to go to a reputable broker, or an Independent Financial Advisor.

Collaborate Mon 26-Nov-12 16:18:03

I am a lawyer, but I regularly warn posters not to rely too much on internet randoms (love the phrase) like me! (even though I and others here are lawyers).

RedHelenB Mon 26-Nov-12 16:14:09

An absolute can be delayed until finances are sorted but tbh she may as well crack on with getting the mortgage in her sole name & having the house transferred as she could always sell it if she did need any money.

Tamisara Mon 26-Nov-12 14:25:45

Holla she does have a solicitor, but she says she's not that good.

I think she wanted to know before the court date - whether she could put it off iyswim?

She's been badgering me for ages to ask things regarding maintenance, contact for their son etc, but I've never bothered - but she's phoned me several times over this, so I'm doing it for a quiet life smile

HollaAtMeBaby Mon 26-Nov-12 14:21:29

Surely if she's going to court she has a lawyer she can ask, rather than getting her sister to ask internet randoms? Collaborate may be a lawyer, of course...

Tamisara Mon 26-Nov-12 14:09:55

Thank you Collaborate. I have no idea who the respondent is - though it probably is her ex. She just wanted me to find out for her. I don't think finances are settled yet, her ex seems to be pushing to have it over before they are.

Collaborate Mon 26-Nov-12 13:48:43

I assume H is the Respondent ot the divorce.

the court can order the DA. Whether or not it does so will depend on whether an agreement as to finances has been reached.

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