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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35073
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 requested suggested amended particulars from my husbands

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I have requested suggested amended particulars from my husband's solicitor (by letter 25 November) and have now had a second letter which hardly clarifies matters at all. In the two letters that followed mine they have not made any suggestions, simply told me what he wants removed. If I were to remove those paragraphs the statement would be a nonsense as it would only say that his behaviour was unreasonable because it was unreasonable! (There would be no reference to any specific behaviour at all). This is a hallmark of his way of working and I am getting tired of this delay. Surely they should have suggested alternative wording by now if he is in earnest? Copy of second letter below:

"We write further to our last letter dated 3rd December 2013, which we trust you have now received.

We have also had the opportunity of taking our client’s further instructions and more specifically in relation to our letter of the 2nd December 2013.

Simply, we would like to clarify our client’s position that if you agree to the removal of the first three paragraphs of the Particulars as contained in your Divorce Petition and on the understanding that the same will be dealt with in the next fourteen days, our client will provide to you the sum of £95 to file an amended Petition which is subject to agreement between both you and our client. Those Particulars are to be agreed and will allow for this matter to proceed on an undefended basis.

Those are our client’s instructions and this is our proposal and in the event that no response is forthcoming from you by 12 noon on the 5th December 2013 we shall proceed to file our client’s Cross-Petition."

I am not inclined to agree when there is nothing to agree to! Please advise on how I stand on this. The statement I filed refers to the same key incidents which are also cited in my answer to his application for child contact - ongoing abusive behaviour towards the children, attempted sexual assault, an actual assault on my youngest (police were called) etc.
Thank you for your question.
My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
If those are removed what does it leave you with?
Could the first paragraphs be toned down at all?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It leaves the following:

The Petitioner made attempts to discuss and resolve these issues, but the Respondent was uncooperative.

As a result of the Respondent’s unreasonable behaviour the Petitioner was extremely distressed and found it impossible to continue to live with the Respondent.


The first paragraphs are as follows:


The Respondent has been habitually violent in word and deed towards the children, in particular towards the two girls. On the afternoon of Sunday 25th November 2012 the Respondent was violent towards the youngest child, Roisin Murphy, and the Respondent was arrested. The Petitioner was deeply distressed and believed that the violent behaviour would escalate further and result in serious harm to one or more members of the family if the Respondent continued to live at the family home.

In August 2010 the Petitioner awoke late at night to find the Respondent attempting sex with her. When the Petitioner confronted the Respondent the following day his only explanation was that he had ‘misread the signals’. The Petitioner was shocked and upset by the incident and felt that the Respondent had completely destroyed her trust in him.

The Respondent refused to cooperate in sorting out family financial matters causing great distress to the Petitioner.


I used the yardstick of 'first, worst, last' and re-wrote these several times before reaching this version. These are my grounds for divorce and I couldn't see how to tone them down without making a complete nonsense of the statement. I guess that's why it is more usual to agree terms, but I couldn't see what else to do without making something up! I have been consistent throughout all the paperwork (incl child contact) in relying on these statements.

May I ask what the nature of the violence was?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

A very aggressive manner in dealing with the children and then usually dragging by the collar or arm, shoving or pushing across a room, shouting, throwing objects and if the girls wouldn't settle at night he would shut them alone in a dark room (no window, no light). If the youngest didn't want to do something/go somewhere he would just pick her up and make her go. He was vile.

Write back and point out that if you acceded to their request there simply would not be sufficient grounds for the court to grant a divorce
The second paragraph you should remove in any event as you lived together AFTER that incident so it is no longer relevant.
You should offer to redraft the first paragraph so that it refers more obliquely to "The Respondent took a more disciplinarian approach to the children using both verbal and physical chastisement despite the Petitioners request that he not do so his failure to agree has caused the petitioner great anxiety and distress"
I hope that this is of assistance
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your advice. One point to clarify - should I offer up the revised paragraph in the letter, or should I say I am willing to revise and then send it if they ask?

I assume from what you have said that if I offer it then I retain the control here and keep the 'advantage' - i.e. I have genuinely tried to negotiate so if it is rejected again by him he is in a weaker position. (It also saves any further delay).

Thanks again. Your time is greatly appreciated.

I would offer the wording then indeed you retain the advantage
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