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Court hearing updates

(143 Posts)
Chumpnomore Wed 06-May-20 20:38:43

Hi, don't want to be all doom and gloom but I know it's useful for others to have up to date information when available if going through the court process.
I had a directions hearing today. The judge personally dialled me and my solicitor and stbx/solicitor and we had a five way call.
The judge said courts were running on a skeleton staff and had no idea when anyone would be back in court.
He said we might have to have a FDR by phone.
Anyway, thought might be useful if people waiting for news. Expect delays.

OP’s posts: |
WhiteWriting Thu 07-May-20 22:07:41

Thanks for the update Chump - I was thinking about you today - I hope it wasn't too awful. I still can't get my head round a five way call. How long did the whole thing go on for? Did you get time to speak privately with just your solicitor at points during proceedings? Was the judge party to everything being discussed or was it left for you and your ex to decide on things? Did you make any progress towards a settlement? What are your feelings about what will happen next?
I am minutes behind you in the process and welcome your words of wisdom.

Chumpnomore Thu 07-May-20 23:16:01

Ahh, really nice to hear from you white!
It was only 20 minutes. Me and my stbx stayed silent whilst solicitors spoke to judge.
It was weird as I didn't get the formality of it all until my solicitor started calling judge, sir, then it hit home that this was a real court hearing.
The judge had the e bundle with him, so was able to comment, however, he obviously didn't have benefit of seeing us or allowing us to comment, so it felt quite generic?
Although I really don't want to see my ex face to face, I can see that there are benefits to being actually in court. Phone hearings really aren't ideal.
This was a directions hearing, as we needed guidance on the fdr. Judge said it wouldnt be before - 1st july. He said we should start negotiations with the intention of settling at fdr.
Oh and because its six months since we submitted form e, we need to update disclosure, including payslips and any changes to income.
Im still in FMH with son and stbx lives with girlfriend. I know I have to sell house, but it's so stressful when you have kids, whatever their age! It's still their home!
Good luck White, keep in touch!

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Cherrypie3456 Thu 07-May-20 23:37:11

Hi , I’m potentially starting court process shortly as me and ex have had a complete breakdown in communication and agreement.
So I’m really keen to hear how you both get on x

WhiteWriting Fri 08-May-20 22:04:57

Evening @Chumpnomore - that sounds like a frustrating experience. My solicitor suggested these hearings were as important for the negotiations with the other side on the day as they were for the bit in front of the judge. So remotely that might not be possible? Me and ExH skipped the directions hearing and have swapped questionnaires arising from Form E. We await a court date for our FDR which I am praying is face to face. Why did your judge say not until 1st July for you? Is it Corona related? Or to give you time to negotiate a settlement? When you say updated disclosures do you mean the Form E or the whole bloody bundle of attached docs too? God - it's a full time job isn't it? x

Chumpnomore Sat 09-May-20 19:06:00

Hi, the fdr won't be before July 1st because we are waiting for the pension report.
However, judge said everything was delayed, obviously, so unlikely to be anything near normal until then.
Re disclosure. The bundle can be recycled, but obviously updated.
We need to provide latest p60 and payslips since then. Also, an expectation to disclose new accounts or income etc.
My grandma died since form e was exchanged. Stbx is insisting he sees a copy to see what I've been left. It's all horrible.

OP’s posts: |
WhiteWriting Sat 09-May-20 21:37:43

I'm so sorry about your Grandma @Chumpnomore - what a soulless bastard your ex sounds. I am watching the Darkest Hour at the moment, Churchill had some great thoughts on how to deal with difficulty. My new divorce slogan is 'keep buggering on'! xxx

Chumpnomore Mon 11-May-20 20:30:26

Yes, keep buggering on! Seems endless though.
My grandma knew he'd have an eye out for any inheritance.. So she didn't leave me anything!! 😉 Hard to imagine someone you used to love, being so heartless and even thinking he'd be entitled to it!
Have you any court dates whitewriting? Did you try mediation with stbx? Do you think you will have to go the whole hog with court process? 😔

OP’s posts: |
WhiteWriting Mon 11-May-20 20:48:36

@chumpnomore I too can't believe that the man I married is the same man who would see me homeless to set up his 'family' (his words) in style. I watched an interesting thing on YouTube today about wife abandonment syndrome from Vikki Stark. She identified the behaviours I have been experiencing of cruelty/money focus/dismantling of what I previously though was good about our marriage. Date for an FDR has not come to me yet. I will ring the court this week direct to see if they can tell me. I am trying to do the maximum myself to avoid solicitor's costs mounting further. We had two sessions of mediation last summer and the day after the second when he had tried to railroad me into agreeing a 70/30 asset split, it transpired he was living with his heavily pregnant partner (had not admitted it on Form E). It was at this point that I sought legal advice and was told 50/50 was what I should be asking for. We are going all the way to final hearing I imagine. He needs to win.

Chumpnomore Mon 11-May-20 21:01:14

God, what a nightmare for you. Hard enough, without knowing hes got a baby on the way. Really feel for you.
My stbx is 58. He's living with his 29 year old affair partner. I won't be surprised if she ends up pregnant.
What is wrong with these men. What happened to them?
I'm impressed you are doing legal stuff on your own, it's not easy. Be good for you to have an idea when it will be. Does he have a pension to put in the pot?
That youtube clip sounds interesting.. Will check it out. x

OP’s posts: |
WhiteWriting Mon 11-May-20 21:07:44

here is the link:
Unfortunately he has a tiny pension - but doesn't have to worry as will inherit a sizeable property portfolio to keep him comfortably. Ironically I have the larger (public sector) pension and he wants half of it! If he can't recoup his house deposit/mortgage payments he'll have his money back some other way. He really didn't get the 'all that I have I share with you' bit of the vows at all. I'm buying a barrister for the day when we get to the hearing. I'm and intelligent woman - I've got this!

WhiteWriting Mon 11-May-20 21:09:29

*an intelligent woman (but one who can't spell apparently)

Momentumneeded Tue 12-May-20 04:45:50

@WhiteWriting @chumpnomore @cherry really sorry to read how difficult things are for you all. What is it with these men?! Unfortunately I think I'm headed in the same direction - in my case a STBX who has resisted financial disclosure for over a year and is just out to impoverish me/ break me or so it seems. I've already spent £3k trying to get disclosure and interim maintenance with zero progress and I am terrified about the costs of court. Would you mind giving me an idea of what it might work out at - with and without solicitor? @WhiteWriting you mentioned self representing and a barrister? That could be a route for me potentially as my high earning StBX is also self representing and so far my mounting solicitor costs have been a direct correlation to that, ie paying solicitor to digest v lengthy pointless, angry, nit picking emails that ultimately resist providing any pertinent info. I'm reluctant to continue paying someone to digest and forward this bile to me when I can't afford it and it's getting me no where. But solicitor cautioned against direct access barrister. I just want peace and to move on but it's all horrendous and he won't move out so that's an extra layer of ugly. It's like you said - for them it's all about 'the win'.

Momentumneeded Tue 12-May-20 04:47:41

Sorry - no idea why half of that is in bold!🙈

Chumpnomore Tue 12-May-20 09:03:20

Moment, so sorry you are going through this too. Its heartbreaking hearing about these once loving men, turning on us, for no reason, except it seems it makes sense to them!
I've spent around 5k getting to this point. However, because my stbx has stalled so many times, in the consent order for the fdr there is reference to claiming costs. The judge allowed this statement to remain so I may get lucky, but realise its not common.
Most of my costs have been putting together ebundles and consent orders. Also, we are waiting for a pension actuary report. 2k... But it will offer useful advice on fair ways to share pension or offset.
Sorry to hear he won't move out. How on earth are you coping with that? The only way I've managed not to go completely insane is to go no contact with my stbx. I really feel for you if you are seeing him still.
I'd be interested in advice on barristers too so my whitewriting can help?

OP’s posts: |
WhiteWriting Tue 12-May-20 19:19:44

Hey Ladies,

hope you are doing well? Another letter from my ExH's crazy solicitor asking whether I will put the house on the market.

Obv. hasn't heard about the GLOBAL PANDEMIC!

Also as he isn't getting what he wants (everything) when he wants it (now) he is now threatening to take my car. Gifted years ago/old banger/taxed, insured and repaired solely by me. Not sure what the legal position his here but imagine its a marital asset and Police website says a civil matter and he would have to apply to the court. Am hiding the keys anyway as he still has access to the house. Great - now will feel unsettled that he will turn up. Anyone else been through similar?
@Momentumneeded, in relation to a direct access barrister, I would remember that your solicitor has a vested interest in keeping you beholden to her. I think its good to go in with the big guns for final hearing. Mine is £500 all in- the solicitor would cost more like2k by my maths. And he is the showman/used to court. I also recommend the following as was recommended to me:
It gives more info on direct access barristers.

Cherrypie3456 Wed 13-May-20 07:37:42

@Momentumneeded I potentially may be going down this road. £3k with no progress! How do they get away with playing the system . It really makes me cross. Can you shed more light on the interim maintenance bit please? If you apply for it - surely thats because you have not received any child support, so how can he dodge that?
Will they award back pay too ? Is it even a guarantee you will get that ?

Momentumneeded Wed 13-May-20 08:42:54

@cherry I know. I've really been shocked at how one party can totally string the other along, even when the Nisi has gone through on grounds of unreasonable behaviour. The system is all sorts of flawed.

If you haven't broached interim maintenance and have an 'awkward' or very tight fisted ex in my experience I'm not sure I would go after it if you can manage financially. It's been an added stress/ cost and detracted from getting his disclosure which is what I really need. I think I would have been better just using savings to top up my salary. In my case he can dodge it because he is refusing to move out (give me strength) so it's a very grey area because he would try to argue he is providing 50% care of the children (he isn't but v difficult to prove) and he is making our banking set up v v difficult. He won't release me from the joint act. and refuses to pay any 'maintenance' directly into my personal act even though I'm on reduced pay & covering lots of the household expenditures whilst he is on full pay and earns 4x what I do. It's also stopping me applying for UC. My solicitor is now suggesting i settle for far less than what SHE suggested was an appropriate interim amount - so I feel like I've spent all this money sending pointless letters, going around in circles as neither solicitor or I can influence him to be. fair, decent human being. On the other hand I've gone after it, so do I now cut my losses or continue trying to get it as this divorce could go on for months yet and I'm down to even more reduced pay from Aug. It feels like I'm making impossible choices. 😔

Momentumneeded Wed 13-May-20 08:59:23

@WhiteWriting omg the level of pettiness of these men is astounding. I just don't get why they do this and why they won't work for both parties to move on. I can relate to the car thing so well. I'm dreading splitting belongings as he will fight over every last thing. I'm also keeping all my docs in car locked and keys on me at all times. I have no safe space at home. It's shit.

Why are they so obsessed about the house too?! Mine arranged valuations behind my back pre lockdown and goes on and on about selling house but yet won't hand over his bank statements? I just don't get it. There's no logic.

Thx re. barrister. Yes - fully sussed the solicitor. The interim thing has really shed a light on it. My ex is self representing and on top of me spending £500 for solicitor to digest one massive letter that was really just a character assassination on me, the thing that really got me was I was paying £30 a time just for her to acknowledge pointless 2 line emails from him changing his mind about solicitor led representation. I think he's had several free legal sessions with different solicitors. Funnily enough they all are 'out to get his money' and 'don't listen'. 🙄🙄🙄

I'll def. order that book. Thx!

Momentumneeded Wed 13-May-20 09:17:42

@Chumpnomore thx! The costs are eye watering aren't they. I could cry thinking what a lovely holiday, boost for kids savings or house update it would pay for. I've been advised to get an actuary report too. Interesting about claiming costs due to them stalling. Did you try mediation or collaborative law - interested at what point you decided to go down the court route and after how long? My solicitor told me court costs are often £20k per hearing (really?) so it's just so far beyond my means it's not even a consideration unless I self represent and it worries me how my ex will use that to bully and undermine me. He's very cold, and emotionless but also v intelligent and a pro at manipulating figures to suit his argument (works in finance). He's also able to afford top notch legal advice if he chooses to. I do get why so many women settle for so little - it's draining. Living under the same roof in lockdown is hell. He's literally rubbing his hands at the corner he's pushed me into and on a massive spending spree with kids (they do see through it though). Pure manipulation. 😔😔😔

Chumpnomore Wed 13-May-20 19:58:52

Thanks for barrister link whitewriting, I'm going to look into it. Just waiting for my FDR date, likely to be August but who knows atm.
Moment, I initiated mediation at the start but stbx said he couldn't afford it... Like any of us can afford a divorce eh?!
Anyway, the mediator gave us the form we needed to say one party didn't think it was an appropriate route.
Ridiculously he even refused to sign adultery petition even though he was living with his girlfriend so I had to serve a unreasonable behaviour petition as well.
My point is, I'm sure divorce costs can be more straightforward, but if you have a narcissistic husband who needs to win, I think this is where costs can spiral.
Again, he refused to give a CE valuation for pension (and judge didn't force him..) which is why I pushed for the pension actuary report. This is due back next week and I've got everything crossed it will give examples of offsetting that will benefit me.
I agree it's so draining. It seems like they get away with it and no one really cares.
I know the money is important for my future with my kids but I know its also important to me to know I've done everything to try and show him I will not be manipulated or bullied anymore! It's sad, but reassuring that there are so many of us who know what it feels like .

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Cherrypie3456 Thu 14-May-20 08:28:59

Thankyou for all the links & info , super helpful.
Honestly in all this I feel "armed" now I have joined here. I've learnt so much.

Stuck in same house in lockdown - you couldn't make that up ! I feel for you. In my case one of had to go and it wasn't going to be him - his house, his belongings, but the bullying, manipulation, lies all got to me so I went to stay with very supportive family. I think I may have done something stupid if I had stayed - got my own story on 'women who kill' grin

Cherrypie3456 Thu 14-May-20 09:08:06

It's frightening about the costs isn't it. And my frustrating thing is we are nearly there in terms of settlement, it's just the maintenance.
I read in a different post somewhere that a women had essentially bought her clean break from the man by giving him more equity, so he had no maintenance claim ever from her.
Mine wants the clean break- course he does but now I feel if he wants it then make me a better offer than £350 per month for 3 kids. I like most of us think 'oh it's not worth it, it will all be over if you accept it,- but it's fight now or forever hold your peace - and all the shit I've put with from him , I'm fighting. For my own sanity I have to know I fought for the best offer, to the detriment of getting in debt to fund it.
I've been financially dependent on this man, done everything in raising 3 kids, stayed loyal. So I just want a little helping hand to get on my own 2 feet for a short while. I'm not after lifelong support and all that - but see me right trying to re home our children. And now because he knows I won't accept CSA amount he's decided he's not paying me anything .

Chumpnomore Fri 15-May-20 08:46:50

Cherrypie, I agree with you. After years of subtle manipulation and recent bullying, it's important for me to know I squared up! I also want to show my kids that it's not acceptable in a permanent relationship that you committed yourself to, to treat someone so badly.
My sbtx stated when he left that he 'didn't want to be accountable for us any more'. That's all very well, but after 24 years of marriage and four children, it doesn't mean he can just erase 'the problem'.
As you say cherry pie, I need to know for my own sanity that I've done all I can to protect what I have left. Sending huge amounts of positive thoughts to everyone.

OP’s posts: |
Cherrypie3456 Sun 14-Jun-20 21:13:32

Hi , I'm just thinking about you all.
Just wanted to know how is everyone getting on .
Those waiting in court have you heard anything yet

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