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Which form to appeal against a decree nisi

(54 Posts)
SouthernFriedChickenPlease Mon 30-Oct-17 20:12:30


My brother wants to appeal a Decree Nisi because his ex wife has put lots of lies on the petition and he wants to get it amended.

He has spoken to the court who said he has to fill out form N161. We have downloaded that but can't find any guidance on how to fill it in when it concerns a Nisi? This is making us wonder if it's the right form?

Please could someone point us in the right direction on this?

Poshindevon Mon 30-Oct-17 21:04:41

Is your brother for real? He must have read his wifes divorce petition long before it went in front of a judge to pronounce a Decree NIsi.
He had to sign that the petition was received ,read and accepted
Why would your brother want to hold up a divorce that has already been pronounced? It makes no sense.
This is a waste of the courts time and its obvious your brother has not taken legal advice.
No where on the final Decree Absolute does it state the reasons for divorce so what is the issue.?
Your brother is about to make a fool of himself .
How can an appeal succeed when your brother has already accepted that the contents of the petition are true.
If your brother is intent on this ridiculous course of action.
The guidance for form N161 is on the bottom of the same court page where you download N161

SouthernFriedChickenPlease Mon 30-Oct-17 21:16:08

He didn’t agree to the petition. She has a solicitor and he doesn’t have one because he can’t afford it. When the petition was sent through he said said he didn’t agree what she had written in the petition as it is lies and he has paperwork/texts etc to prove it is lies.

They have been split for 4 years now, the divorce was started in July.

He emailed her solicitor saying he didn’t agree with the petition and asked if it could be amended to “over 2 years separation.” He didn’t hear a word back, tried to phone/email her solicitor but got ignored for 8 weeks so he phoned the court to find out what/if anything was happening and they said the petition was sent to them and he got a letter yesterday saying the judge had granted a nisi which would be heard in court in 3 weeks time and he has to pay her costs.

He hasn’t signed the petition or sent it back. They have gone ahead somehow and done it.

Retrovibes Mon 30-Oct-17 21:17:50

Why would he want to appeal?
It’s not on the final document so what does it matter?
I agree he is going to look a fool. No judge will take him seriously.

dinnerdatedisaster Mon 30-Oct-17 21:19:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pigeondujour Mon 30-Oct-17 21:20:45

Really, there's no point. No one's going to see their divorce papers and he could look very controlling if he tries to insist on it being changed.

MrsPestilence Mon 30-Oct-17 21:21:52

Sounds like unreasonable behaviour to me. Does he wish to remain married?

Tanfastic Mon 30-Oct-17 21:28:05

I work in this field. There really is no point in appealing the contents of a petition. A petition is a means to an end. It is only seen by the petitioner, the respondent, the solicitors and the judge. Nobody is interested in the contents. Sometimes the particulars can be "watered down" in order not to offend but really it's just a means to an end.

His wife wants a divorce. He can't stop that happening.

SouthernFriedChickenPlease Mon 30-Oct-17 21:30:31

I actually agree with you and I have been trying to talk to him about the stress it will cause to try and amend it. I’m divorced too and told him no one will see what is written on it but he’s annoyed she wrote such blatant lies on there (to be fair to him my ex sister in law did manipulate an awful lot and he does have proof they are lies.)

My puzzling question is how could it be sent to the court by her solicitor without him agreeing/signing anything?

prh47bridge Mon 30-Oct-17 21:32:20

If he wants to stay married he may be able to get the decree nisi overturned. However, the fact that he does not appear to have attempted to contest the petition will probably go against him so it would be a very long shot. If he does not want to stay married an appeal would be a waste of time and money. As others have said, the allegations in the petition do not appear on the decree nisi or the decree absolute.

Tanfastic Mon 30-Oct-17 21:33:53

He doesn't need to agree to the contents of the petition before a solicitor sends it to the court for issuing on behalf of a client. Very occasionally we would send the draft of "particulars" to the other party before issuing if a client wanted to tread carefully and not upset their potential ex husband (doesn't happen very often) but it's not a requirement.

The court would have issued the petition, served him a copy in the post with an acknowledgment of service for him to sign and send back within 14 days. Then it will go to decree nisi.

SouthernFriedChickenPlease Mon 30-Oct-17 21:35:44

Yes he does want a divorce, he was the one who said let’s get the divorce sorted out and she said she would get the ball rolling as she works for a solicitor’s firm and has family who know what they are doing etc. Their split was both their faults - lots of pressure and arguing etc which is why the 2 year separation reason would have been sufficient as opposed to her then writing a small essay on him. I had to write a statement on mine but that was because it was under 2 years being split.

pigeondujour Mon 30-Oct-17 21:37:33

Honestly - if he wants the divorce he should accept it and do what he needs to do to keep the ball rolling.

SouthernFriedChickenPlease Mon 30-Oct-17 21:40:49

Yes he received the petition through the post from the court but he didn’t sign it or send it back to the court because when he received it he contacted her solicitor to ask about the statement and ask her to change it to 2 years separation (like they agreed) without all the nonsense in the statement.

SouthernFriedChickenPlease Mon 30-Oct-17 21:42:00

He never heard back from her solicitor despite several messages.

Poshindevon Mon 30-Oct-17 21:42:14

It appears due to your brothers failure to engage properly in the divorce proceedings (he could have received free legal advice for one hour) his wifes solicitor asked a judge to accept that petition had been served.
This would happen long before the decree nisi was pronounced and by a different judge. This is way beyond what his wife said in her petition.
You and your brother obviously have no understanding of court procedure.
If he cant afford a solicitor can your brother afford to throw away £125 on court fees. He needs a reality check . He will be divorced in a a few weeks and needs to let this go

MrsPestilence Mon 30-Oct-17 21:45:29

He failed to return the petition in the time frame. Why is he trying to incur extra costs?

SouthernFriedChickenPlease Mon 30-Oct-17 21:46:19

He did engage though, he contacted her solicitor to ask questions (the same questions a solicitor acting on his behalf would have done) but her solicitor ignored him. Would he have ignored a solicitor acting on his behalf?

GreenTulips Mon 30-Oct-17 21:49:05

Also, her solicitor does not have to contact your brother, he is not their client, solicitors charge for phone calls and letters, and he's not down to pay for that service (an nor should he, they can't have the same one)

GreenTulips Mon 30-Oct-17 21:51:32

He's asking for advice, advice he should pay for.

SouthernFriedChickenPlease Mon 30-Oct-17 21:51:58

When I got divorced I had a solicitor and so did my ex husband and both solicitors phoned/emailed or wrote to each other which questions etc. Does it not work like that when one party is representing themselves?

SouthernFriedChickenPlease Mon 30-Oct-17 21:53:21

He wasn’t asking for advice, he was saying he didn’t agree to the petition and asked her solicitor to ask his client if she would amend it to 2 years split as agreed beforehand.

Tanfastic Mon 30-Oct-17 21:55:03

She probably ignored him because it costs £500 to issue the petition and she didn't want to incur further costs redrafting it.

Tanfastic Mon 30-Oct-17 21:56:10

When there really was no need, it still would have had the same result - decree absolute.

FairfaxHigh Mon 30-Oct-17 21:57:14

Sounds like an application for deemed service was made using your brother's emails questioning the content of the petition as proof he had received it. As he didn't indicate an intention to defend by completing the acknowledgement of service within the time limit, his wife has been able to apply for decree nisi.

Agree with all the other responses that attempting to challenge it would be a complete waste of time and money.

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