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Divorce Help Please- What's My Next Move?

(16 Posts)
CremeEggThief Sat 19-Jan-13 19:03:36

STBXH left me for another woman in June, and has been living with her ever since. Prior to this, he had been working away for a year, and he had left me and DS (10) behind in an area we had relocated to for his previous job, so we have no family or close friends around, and there is no after-school club at DS's school. I am a qualified primary teacher, but have been a SAHP (with very, very occasional supply teaching) since he left to work away. I am currently looking for more family-friendly work, such as teaching assistant roles.

STBXH has been trying to push me into a divorce since he left, but I wasn't ready to file until November, after we had agreed a financial deal between us. I saw a solicitor and instructed him to file on the grounds of adultery (which STBXH accepts) towards the end of November, but he wrote to STBXH, asking for the cost of the divorce upfront. He asked me at the time if I wanted to wait until he had received confirmation from STBXH, or start proceedings straight away, and I informed him I wanted to wait. My reason for this was I didn't want to be liable for any costs incurred in the divorce, even though I understand the co-repsondent being divorced for adultery almost always has to pay costs anyway.

Today, STBXH has led me to believe he does not want to honour what he agreed to, when we worked out our financial deal. At present, he is in a very well-paid job and he can afford it. However, he is a contractor, so I know that could change further down the line.

So, what should my next move be? Should I just go ahead and file (I actually have the cost of the actual divorce in savings), assume I'll probably get my money back, and see what the courts decide is fair, or carry on waiting for him to send the cheque off? I am not particularly in any hurry to be divorced, as I just see it as a formality, but if I file, I have more control over the process.

Thanks in Advance.

mumblechum1 Sat 19-Jan-13 19:28:18

The only potential problem is that you could issue on his adultery and he may not admit it, which means you'd have to either change your petition to unreasonable behavour or withdraw this petn and re-issue, both of which would involve delay and expense.

Because he doesn't have to admit behaviour, I'd err on the side of caution and issue on behaviour, and plug away at a negotiated settlement. What he tells you may not be what he ends up agreeing to.

I was a family lawyer for well over 20 years and often parties would threaten to be unco-operative then when they came to see me I'd tell them to stop being a prat and get on with the negotiations (slightly more diplomatically than that tho!), and almost all of those cases ended up back on track and with negotiated settlements.

CremeEggThief Sat 19-Jan-13 19:29:58

Thanks Mumblechum. So you think I should file on behaviour now rather than wait any longer?

mumblechum1 Sat 19-Jan-13 19:32:15

tbh I never saw the point of delaying issuing, if the marriage is over it's usually best to get everything sorted so that you can get on with the rest of your life.

But I don't know your backstory and there may be something I don't know about.

CremeEggThief Sat 19-Jan-13 20:03:36

I am just worried I will end up having to pay something, when I can't afford it and I'm not entitled to Legal Aid. But I think I am ready to take a risk now. Thanks again Mumble.

RedHelenB Sat 19-Jan-13 20:17:15

Leave it until new woman starts nagging him to get married!!!

CremeEggThief Sat 19-Jan-13 20:46:51

Well, RedHelen, they've been engaged since September, apparently! I don't know why he's been stalling on everything since I decided I was ready.

sicutlilium Sat 19-Jan-13 21:36:43

RedHelen Hahaha! OP, wait until new woman is pregnant then claim your faith doesn't permit divorce and it will have to be 5 years without consent - that ought to focus his mind.

tass1960 Sat 19-Jan-13 21:48:58

Has your financial arrangement been negotiated officially and is it watertight; it's not clear from your post if he is just backtracking on what you agreed re the divorce or on the financial arrangements also;

CremeEggThief Sat 19-Jan-13 23:31:43

No, it was just agreed between us, in writing and signed, but I showed my solicitor the piece of paper.

sicutlilium, I am R.C., as it happens.

sicutlilium Sun 20-Jan-13 00:09:23

OP I must be psychic. How about suggesting a judicial separation? https://www.gov.uk/legal-separation The finances are dealt with but neither party is free to marry: that would cramp his fiancee's style and might make him more amenable. This is not legal advice, obviously.

tass1960 Sun 20-Jan-13 17:56:01

Think you might be taking a chance not to all financial aspects tied up before divorce ... Am not a lawyer but seriously you need to speak to one about this (I do work in family law)

MOSagain Mon 21-Jan-13 15:33:56

The problem with leaving it, is that you run the risk of him issuing a petition on unreasonable behaviour. Awful as that may sound as he is committing adultery, its still a possibility and I'm sure he would find someone to put together some particulars of unreasonable behaviour.

As Mumblechum has said, just get on with it, no real reason for delaying and hopefully you will get the order for costs against him.

LadyMacbethWasMisunderstood Tue 22-Jan-13 07:25:27

I agree about getting on with it - for the sake of protecting your financial position. Certainty is important.

But 2 things to consider. First. The divorce itself is a separate application from the financial remedy that you seek. If he does in fact come back on board with the financial deal you struck then that will save you a great deal of money. But if he doesn't and you have to take him to court then the cost of that is likely to be much more than the costs of the divorce itself. If you will be likely to get a significant lump sum some solicitors will be happy to take you on and be paid out of your final settlement. But many will expect payment as you go along. The costs of taking even a fairly simple matter to a final hearing are thousands not hundreds of pounds. Its unusual to get those costs back - unless the other party has not complied with court orders or has 'messed about' with the process (as opposed to his conduct generally being poor). The point of this is to stress that it can be cost effective to compromise on a deal that is a bit less than you really want to save the cost of drawn out proceedings.

Second. I don't necessarily agree about petitioning on behaviour. Whether it is behaviour or adultery the respondent is free to deny what you allege. And if he does you have to prove it. If he is living with the OW then that is not so hard. Better cite the true reason in my view than construct something. I guess that would fit better with your beliefs too.

Hope it works put for you as soon as possible so you can rebuild your life.

LadyMacbethWasMisunderstood Tue 22-Jan-13 07:42:22

I agree about getting on with it - for the sake of protecting your financial position. Certainty is important.

But 2 things to consider. First. The divorce itself is a separate application from the financial remedy that you seek. If he does in fact come back on board with the financial deal you struck then that will save you a great deal of money. But if he doesn't and you have to take him to court then the cost of that is likely to be much more than the costs of the divorce itself. If you will be likely to get a significant lump sum some solicitors will be happy to take you on and be paid out of your final settlement. But many will expect payment as you go along. The costs of taking even a fairly simple matter to a final hearing are thousands not hundreds of pounds. Its unusual to get those costs back - unless the other party has not complied with court orders or has 'messed about' with the process (as opposed to his conduct generally being poor). The point of this is to stress that it can be cost effective to compromise on a deal that is a bit less than you really want to save the cost of drawn out proceedings.

Second. I don't necessarily agree about petitioning on behaviour. Whether it is behaviour or adultery the respondent is free to deny what you allege. And if he does you have to prove it. If he is living with the OW then that is not so hard. Better cite the true reason in my view than construct something. I guess that would fit better with your beliefs too.

Hope it works put for you as soon as possible so you can rebuild your life.

CremeEggThief Tue 22-Jan-13 08:17:42

Thank you all for further advice. A lot to ponder.

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