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Not going to a divorce costs hearing - would it count against me?

(11 Posts)
wondering1101 Fri 26-Oct-18 12:01:52


Just been through a traumatic divorce during which I took ex to court over finances. Luckily we settled at the second hearing, and things are on their way to being almost completely resolved. The financial remedy costs were mine, because though ex did increase them a lot by being difficult, lying, not responding, having to be prompted many times for the same info etc., not thinking we had to get valuations done until we were ordered to (I couldn't get them done at that stage because almost all the assets were in his name only) etc... he didn't in the end behave so unreasonably that a costs order was made against him.

Now, however, he is contesting having to pay the costs of the divorce itself, which since the petition was for unreasonable behaviour, he would be liable for. This bill is infinitesimally small in comparison to my financial remedy bill. So he has referred the matter back to the court, and there is going to be a 15 minute hearing next month.

My solicitor suggests that she write to the court explaining the situation exactly, and she thinks that I have a good chance of "winning". She knows I don't want to go alone, and to go with representation would defeat the object as that would cost more than the bill which is being disputed.

So my question is - is this common - for a letter to be written to the court? If the letter reaches the court in time (which it should do), might the hearing be cancelled completely? If not, will the fact that I am not there prejudice the Judge against me? I know that ex will invent all kinds of stuff there and then during those 15 minutes, and there will be nobody from "my side" to counter what he says.

Ex has in the past said that we should split this bill - he says "what about your unreasonable behaviour" hmm. Should I go back to him and suggest this again, or just stand my ground because he has been very difficult and unpleasant... Stand my ground but run the risk of having to pay the whole bill (though not his costs).

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wondering1101 Fri 26-Oct-18 12:02:30

(Had also posted this in Aibu, but got no response there).

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MrsBertBibby Fri 26-Oct-18 12:45:03

You will need to go if you want the costs order. You could take a friend for moral support, as your McKenzie Friend.

wondering1101 Fri 26-Oct-18 13:13:34

My solicitor seems to think I don’t have to, and as ex did not sign the petition until the FDR hearing, and the consent order which he did sign says that the costs he is not liable for exclude the actual divorce costs - I have a good chance of not not being liable.

I really don’t want to go as he will do his usual twisting / lying thing.

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wondering1101 Fri 26-Oct-18 13:14:41

Does a letter to the court never work?

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ShalomJackie Fri 26-Oct-18 13:15:38

But if you don't go he will be able to twist and lie with noone there to explain this is the case.

wondering1101 Fri 26-Oct-18 13:21:36

But if you don't go he will be able to twist and lie with noone there to explain this is the case.

Yes this is what I am worried about. On my own I cannot handle him however - he has always managed to put me on the defensive / back foot. Being represented would be too expensive.

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wondering1101 Fri 26-Oct-18 16:56:23

Sorry that should read “of not being liable” - Freudian slip!

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ShalomJackie Sat 27-Oct-18 12:49:11

You can write out your statement and then ask the Costs Master if you can read it out. The Costs Master should give you a chance to respond to what your ex says so you should be able to say that simply is not the case and my version is the correct version.

wondering1101 Mon 29-Oct-18 00:41:39

Thank you @ShalomJackie - I am waiting for my solicitor to get back to me with the draft letter, and I will then decide what to do.

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Ss770640 Wed 07-Nov-18 19:18:49

Your lawyer can act in your absence however in my experience from watching court cases etc on tv, the person that doesn't turn up to represent themselves can have a judgement made against them simply because you were not there to contest it.

Ask your lawyer if attendance is required

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