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James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1390
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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I am hoping that you can set my mind at rest. In the matter

Customer Question

I am hoping that you can set my mind at rest.
In the matter of my divorce, I was the Petitioner. In filing the initial paperwork, I requested that the judge order the Respondent to pay the fees (the divorce was petitioned for as my ex was arrested and charged with assault against myself). My ex challenged my request, but in the issuing of the Decree Nisi, the judge 'ordered that the Respondent pay the costs incurred on behalf of the Petitioner in this cause to be assessed if not agreed'. I assumed this meant that my ex was bound to pay and no further correspondence was entered into regarding the matter.
I waited a full year and in receiving no money from him, I asked the local County Court what I should do. They instructed me to apply through Money Claim Online, which I did. My ex has chosen to defend the claim, stating that I agreed to pay all costs (an outright lie, as I merely stated that I had HAD to pay them to get the process started, not that I was willing to bear them - in fact, his bail conditions at the time of the petition prevented him contacting me, so there was no such opportunity for making said agreement). I did not engage solicitors as to limit the costs and such his potential reaction towards them, but now I have no choice but to take the matter to the Small Claims Court. Tonight I received a very intimidating and emotionally abusive phone call from him which has left me very shaken as I had hoped by now he had accepted some degree of responsibility for the actions which led us to this point.
My questions now are:
1 - Am I correct that he has been ordered to pay the £470 costs and should have done so?
2 - If this is so, when this goes to Court, can the Judge change the original ruling? Is there something after the Decree Nisi I may have missed that stated he did not have to pay?
3 - Ever since the incident that occurred prior to my petition, I have remained fearful of him and as a result of the conversation today, I am even more reluctant to face him in person. Is it possible for me to provide a written statement to the Court instead of appearing personally?
He has made it very clear that he will under no circumstances pay, but now it is about the principle of the matter. It is not about blame, but moral responsibility.
I apologise for the rambling message!
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Are you simply asking for the Court fees?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes, just the £470 divorce fees
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Did you ask the Divorce Court for an Order specifying that amount?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I would need to check the standard wording but I believe it was simply a request to pay the costs incurred, as stated by the order the judge made in the Decree Nisi
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
You have been given the wrong way forward - but that is not a problem.
Leave the current application.
Instead use a form D11 within the old divorce application to ask the Judge to set the costs at £470 - the amount of the fees.
Once that has been done you will have an order that you can then enforce without any further hearing
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details