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Advice filling out D81(4 Posts)
I am seeking approval for a consent order. stbxh has not provided all the info with form E at mediation and I instructed my solicitor to go straight to drafting consent order. Stbxh is a recovering addict with huge debts, business insolvency and did not engage properly with mediation (wouldn't provide all evidence of his liabilities in particular) so we didn't get to the point where my solicitor felt she could advise me based on the form E.
My solicitor hasn't provided me with any advice filling out D81 and I am worried the consent order won't be approved since his income on the form is tiny (salary from his company) and doesn't represent reality. He doesn't have a solicitor. Is there anything I can do at this stage or do we have to accept that the judge will request more information from stbxh and the process will not be straightfoward and we might be called to appear in court? I am guessing here based on advice from a friend who used to be a family lawyer. TBH I am not on good terms with the solicitor. They take an age to respond to any question, have not followed up with me when stbxh hasn't responded, and at one point took two months to respond despite me chasing them up several times, and when their mistake came to light did not apologise. What can I expect at this stage in terms of care and advice? AIBU or are they a bit rubbish?
Isn't a consent order supposed to be consented to by both parties? Is your solicitor just drafting something in the hope he will agree? Could get expensive?
We've agreed what's gone in the order and he's signed it. My concern is that it will go forward but the court will refuse it because it is heavily weighted in my favour but on the evidence of his income that will look strange.
My other concern is that the solicitor has been unhelpful in not providing advice on the above question, sends out forms etc with no guidance on how to complete them (specifically the D81), doesn't inform me when STBXH doesn't respond, or responds late, doesn't acknowledge emails at all (generally replies two weeks later but no acknowledgement in between) hence there have been long delays with nothing happening. I was asked for a piece of information before xmas and replied straight away. I then chased them up for a response mid Jan, just told to wait, did the same two weeks later, told to wait, then in early Feb I kicked off and it turned out that they hadn't read my email sent before Christmas. No apology and no real effort to keep an eye on things since. I should have moved to another firm at that point but I was so anxious and stressed I couldn't face it.
Your STBXH needs to sign the D81 also. A judge may query any disparity and write back for confirmation or for questions to be answered but it would be very unlikely that you would need to attend court. If your STBXH wouldn’t complete form E the process should have been that when you applied for a financial order to the court using Form A they would have issued a court order for the forms to be completed. If he continued not to complete forms or follow the process ultimately you would be asked to estimate on his behalf and he would lose his right to use his own financial evidence. A judge would then make an order. Seeing as you have a consent order signed it sounds like you should carry on with that rather than wasting more time & money. Failing that I’d be tempted to go it alone without a solicitor and go down a non-consent form A approach.
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