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Received divorce petition - can anyone help?

(17 Posts)
EachAndEveryHighway Tue 30-Jul-13 23:44:21

My stbxh has filed for divorce and I received the petition a few days ago. If anybody out there who knows about these things can help me with a couple of the questions on it, I would be really really grateful!!

Background:
We split up 3 years ago and our house has been sold and the proceeds already divided. The split was fair (more-or-less 50:50). We have 2DCs, he pays maintenance, and has them a couple of nights a week.

I am pretty skint as I bought my own place about a year ago, and it requires a lot of renovation to bring it up to what most people would consider a liveable standard.

So - we agreed that stbxh would file for divorce so that he would pay the court fee.

With it being such a straightforward divorce (i.e marital assets already split) I decided not to get a solicitor, and to do it myself. I am now filling in the acknowledgement of service form, and am not sure what to put for questions 6 and 7.
Q6 - In the event of a decree nisi being granted on the basis of two years' separation coupled with the respondent's consent, do you intend to apply to the Court for it to consider your financial position as it will be after the divorce?
I presume the answer to this is 'no' - is that right? Seeing as assets have already been split to both our satisfaction.
Q7 - 'Even if you do not intend to defend the case do you object to paying the cost of the proceedings?'
This question is a bit alarming .... if I put 'no' what would I have to pay?
If I put 'Yes', it says 'If so, on what grounds'? How do I say in formal legal language that I'm skint as every penny of my disposable income goes on house renovation whereas stbxh lives with his parents so has lots of money and can afford it?!

countydurhamlass Tue 30-Jul-13 23:52:22

q6, no (if everything is dealt with regarding finances you will need to submit a Consent Order to the court at a later stage setting out what has been agreed and you will therefore need a solicitor for this)
q7 - no, insufficient funds, petitioner is not claiming costs in any eveny

EachAndEveryHighway Wed 31-Jul-13 00:03:04

Hi countydurhamlass thanks so much for responding.

Regarding the consent order, I've just had to send details of all my finances to his solicitor for them to draft a consent order. Will I need to do one too? Or is it ok just to go along with his as long as it looks ok?

Q6 - that's clear - thanks
Q7- sorry that's not so clear. If I put 'no', surely that means I don't mind paying costs?

primroseyellow Wed 31-Jul-13 08:02:17

Does STBXH have a pension fund because if so that is one of his assets and you need proper legal advice to negotiate your share.

familylawyerlouise Wed 31-Jul-13 10:38:03

For q 6 I would put "yes if an agreement cannot be reached" and for q7 I would put "I object to paying any costs as the Petitioner and I agreed that he would pay the costs of the divorce". You should ask his solicitors for details of his financial position to see if he has a pension or anything else you can claim against. His solicitors will ask you to reciprocate with details of your finances. If you're happy not to pursue any other financial claims such as pension claims then you'll be ok going along with the consent order prepared by his solicitors but it will be a good idea to get a solicitor to advise you what it means before you sign it.

mumblechum1 Wed 31-Jul-13 14:38:29

Agree with Louise.

EachAndEveryHighway Wed 31-Jul-13 14:42:08

Many thanks for your advice primroseyellow and familylawyerlouise.

I know for sure he doesn't have a pension fund despite me suggesting time and time again he should start putting money into a pension, so there's nothing to divide or claim from there.

Thanks for clarifying question 6 and 7 - I will go with what you said louise. As far as the consent order goes, I know somebody who's a retired solicitor so I'll ask her to glance at the one prepared by his solicitors before I sign it.

Right ... will go and get this in the post now.

EachAndEveryHighway Tue 06-May-14 14:04:03

Revisiting this to ask a further question of you kind people!

We are now at the stage of the Consent Order - a draft of which has been sent to me by my STBXH's solicitors. All seems OK in terms of the finances ... the only thing that worries me a bit is the section entitled: Where the parties and the children will live. For the children, it doesn't list either of our addresses, but says 'The children share their time between the above two addresses'. (Mine and Ex's)

Now ... the reality is that they live at my house Monday - Friday, and they go to their dads most weekends Friday pm to Sunday pm. So I guess my question is, is this phrasing OK? Are there any legal implications of putting this rather than my address? Maintenance is sorted btw, he pays me £200 pm.

EachAndEveryHighway Tue 06-May-14 21:36:28

Bump!

respondentchris Sat 14-May-16 15:48:38

I have just received my first letter from the court asking me to respond. I am stuck on q6 and q7.

If financial are clear and 'she' will get a fixed amount, which we have agreed on as a settlement, what do I put into q6? Would I put 'yes' so I can file for a financial order or 'no', because financials will form part of the next stage?
Q7: We are sharing the costs of the divorce, so should I put 'yes' (what reason would I put down?) or 'no' to pay up the rest? This is not clear to me.
Could do with a response from Louise. smile

Familylawsolicitor Sat 14-May-16 21:56:24

Q6: say "It is hoped finances will be agreed"
q7 "We have agreed I will pay 50% of the divorce costs"

This is an old thread btw. Best to start a new thread rather than post on a old one for next time smile

respondentchris Sat 14-May-16 22:21:51

Yes, I just realised that the thread was older.

Thank you so much for your kind response.

Q6: 'hoped'? We have actually agreed on a fixed amount. Do I not need to have this Form B? At a later stage, and if I do not have that form, can I still have the peace of mind and have a lawyer drawing up my financial solution so she won't come back for more? Don't I have to be clear about 'yes' or 'no'? It sounds like that in that form I have been sent.

Q7: Won't the court ask for a clear 'yes' or 'no' in these matters? Would I write 'Yes, I object, because we have agreed to share.' ?

I am sorry - just trying to get things right.

Familylawsolicitor Sun 15-May-16 06:54:39

The vast majority of solicitors give narrative answers for their clients in these forms - the answers are read by a judge not put into a computer programme that requires a yes/no answer.
You could say you have agreed finances. It doesn't actually matter if you write no to this question as you can still apply. I would strongly recommend that you do get your agreement drafted into a consent order and approved by the court. Either one of you could go back on it or apply for a financial order even after decree absolute and many years down the line.

You should say you have agreed to share costs "equally"

respondentchris Sun 15-May-16 20:28:30

Thank you so much!

Yeah, I 'am' a Computer Programmer and this is probably why I am having such trouble with these forms. I will go with the narrative.

Thank you so much for your patience and for your time.

Can I just ask whether I must add this Form B at this stage?

Familylawsolicitor Mon 16-May-16 09:13:32

Ah - a computer programmer - that explains it ! smile
Form B is very rare (I had to double check what you were talking about)
If you mean this form, you won't need it at all. www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/forms/fjr/Form_B_web_0414_2.pdf

This would be to delay decree absolute to allow the court to sort finances of a DA would prejudice you. It is almost never used and you won't need it if you have reached agreement.

When you get a date for decree nisi you and your ex should jointly file a consent order reflecting your agreement which needs to be submitted with a D81. I am all for people being able to do their divorces themselves, and the divorce itself is fine to do without a solicitor but do pay someone to draft the consent order itself as it really does need to be done correctly technically. For comparison purposes I charge £750+vat in the south east which includes filing everything.

You file a form A marked "for dismissal purposes only" but you don't need to get it signed off by a mediator as the form suggests - this is only when you are not filing a consent order. You also need to both complete a D81 statement of information form.
Links all here
www.gov.uk/money-property-when-relationship-ends/apply-for-consent-order

respondentchris Mon 16-May-16 10:34:16

OMG, so helpful.

Q6: 'We have agreed on the finances.'
Q7: 'We share to equal parts 50% of all costs of this divorce.'

Have merely added the original copy of the petition as sent by the court and as per request on the paper.

In regards to the consent order, should we go about this after or before the decree absolute? We already know what everyone gets - me nothing and her a lump sum. Fair enough.

Familylawsolicitor Tue 17-May-16 20:12:15

The earliest date you can put the consent order into the court is decree nisi.
Once you return your acknowledgement form to the court expect around 2 weeks for the court to process it as send it to your ex. Then she needs to apply for DN. Courts near me are taking 6 weeks plus to give a date for decree Nisi.

So time to get the consent order ready. Best to get it done before decree absolute as there can be negative consequences if not done. Usually relating to someone dying before its sorted!

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