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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33325
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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I have received no written notification from Milton Keynes

Customer Question

Hi
I have received no written notification from Milton Keynes Court on a hearing relating to pension sharing as part of a divorce settlement. The hearing is scheduled for tomorrow (not sure what time). I have emailed the court asking for a deferral as I have not had reasonable notice of the hearing. This is the second deferral and for the same reason - I did not receive a letter for the prior scheduled hearing until 2 days before the event.
From the prior hearing I received the Application Notice but not the documents referenced in the Application Notice and I had requested a copy of them. I work full time and believe that I have a case where reasonable notice is needed (say 2 weeks) for me to schedule time off work - do I have a case?
Thanks.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 month ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do t best to help you but I need some further information first

How long have you known that a hearing was to be scheduled?

How often have you contacted the court asking when the date would be?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Original hearing was for 4 October. Judge agreed to defer due to lack of notice. Advised they would re-schedule Court help desk advised they had written on 31 October for a 10 November hearing which would have been reasonable but I have not received a letter. They have also not provided me the full details of the documents in the Notice as requested by me. My ex wife did text me to say case was 10 Nov but I expected a court letter to confirm but not received (and I have triple checked). Same issue as prior hearing - letter date 24 Sept but not received until 2 Oct. clearly an issue wit court logistics. I had not called the court to find out as I expected response to emails or a letter advising me of re-scheduled hearing date
Jolyon
Expert:  Clare replied 1 month ago.

So you have known since 4th October that there would be an imminent hearing.

When did your ex tell you about the date?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
4 Nov was her text so assumed she had a court letter. When none arrived for me I called the court yesterday followed by email to request deferment. I also had no reply to my request for documents attached to Application Notice. Are the court accountable for providing all information?
Regards. Jolyon
Expert:  Clare replied 1 month ago.

What was the actual nature of the hearing - they usually have a name?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
It is my ex wife attempting to transfer costs to me of creating a pension share of an Australian pension Run by Axa that was part of my employment in Australia. This was part of the divorce settlement but has been problematic resolving as we are in UK and was originally with her solicitor to resolve. I tried to help unsuccessfully and said I would address when I went to Aus on holiday but haven't been able to afford to since the divorce and financial crisis. She was there earlier this year and is looking for me to bear the Aus legal costs of the pension share which I honestly can't afford currently!
Regards. Jolyon
Expert:  Clare replied 1 month ago.

Right.

I have to ask - did it not occur to you to phone the court after you heard from your ex?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Not immediately as I had assumed I would have a letter from the court advising me of date and time of hearing and when I had not received I called them yesterday. What is your advice as this appears to be my last reply and can't afford another payment! I believe that deferment is reasonable given I had no formal notice of the hearing regardless of a text from my ex wife and given I am in full time work my employer will require reasonable notice of absence (particularly as I have started a new engagement in London and the court is Milton Keynes). Surely a judge needs to apply common sense and reasonableness. I've said I'm happy to attend but expect reasonable notice of the hearing date / time. Please confirm
Regards. Jolyon
Expert:  Clare replied 1 month ago.

Please do not worry the money you have indicated covers all the exchanges on this thread - no extra required.

Just to check - you did check that the court had the correct address on record - not that of a former solicitor or anyone else?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
the court quoted my address correctly when I spoke to the help desk.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 month ago.

Did you ever have solicitors acting for you in the case?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I did, but that was about 10 years ago when the divorce happened!
Expert:  Clare replied 1 month ago.

Have you checked that paperwork is not being sent there

I ask because I am afraid that there is little chance that the Court will agree a further adjournment.

The fact that you need to get time off work is seen as your problem and be under no illusion - the Court will not accept " I could not get time off work" as a good reason for an adjournment"

I also have concerns about their approach to the fact that you did NOT phone the court regularly and ensure that you knew what the date was.

If you are lucky and it is adjourned today then you MUST make regular phone calls and do NOT rely on the post for Notice.

The Court is often behind on the sending out of Orders - and you are expected to be proactive on the matter

I cannot comment on the missing paperwork without seeing the applictaion itself I am afraid - but you shoudl have requested it from your ex first

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Fortunately the hearing has been adjourned today. When the court writes to me by email that it will advise me of the hearing date why does it become my responsibility to chase because it's system is unreliable?
And is the court not responsible for ensuring both parties have the documentation to be presented?
Regards. Jolyon
Expert:  Clare replied 1 month ago.

Sadly it is NOT the responsibility of the Court to ensure to ensure that both parties have all the paperwork - it is the responsibility of whichever party is missing documentation to request it from the other party and if it is not provided to make an applictaion to the court for an order that it IS provided.

It is your responsibility because you are one of the parties and you wish to be represented at the hearing.

You were lucky to day - you need to be proactive if you wish to ensure that you have as much notice as possible

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