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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34906
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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My partner is going through a messy divorce. His ex wife filed

Customer Question

My partner is going through a messy divorce. His ex wife filed for the divorce on unreasonable behaviour and the decree nisi was granted on 24th March. However she will not now sign the decree absolute application and more importantly is not co-operating with my partner seeing his children (15 year old and 9 year old). My partner lives and works abroad. He voluntarily pays school fees and above CMS calculated maintenance plus any other expenses that arise such as school trips, holidays etc Where does he stand and what can he do
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 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.
Has an agreement been made on the capital settlements?
What contact has he been having with the children?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi they agreed together that the house would be paid off and signed over to her (my partner has already paid the mortgage off but not sign the title forms for the house until the divorce is settled) he also agreed she could keep the jaguar (family car) he is paying for his sons school fees and also pays 1000 per month maintenance for the 2 children. On top of this he does also pay out for school trips/holidays etc. Up until April this year he worked about 5 weeks and was home 3 weeks. He got to see the children for the weekends he was home. However the job he now has means he lives abroad permanently and has to book holiday (which he dosnt get paid for so meaning we are short on our monthly income) he hasnt seen his children since april and is trying desparetly to get dates from his ex wife to be able to bring his children out here where he lives during the summer holidays. She however will not co-operate. she keeps saying shes still making her plans and he will hear from her solicitor which never happens!! he speaks with his children at least once a week via skype although they do this when his ex is not around as they children feel this is neccessary :( both parties wanted the divorce and infact my partner wanted to start the proceeding but she rushed straight to a solicitor to get in first. She was happy with what they agreed financially (she works full time herself so has her own decent income plus obviously no mortgage etc and maintenance) however since the decree nisi was granted on 24th March this year she will not sign the decree absolute application and says she is entitled to more financially!! (the house alone is worth 225k) We have realised my partner can this month apply for the decree abolsute himself due to the length of time she has left this however on reading about the process it says a court date is set which he would have to attend. As he is abroad this is almost impossible :( what can we do finalise the divorce and more importantly arrange proper times for him to spend with his children as this is breaking his hear

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

please could you respond quickly as this is quite urgent

thanking you

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
I am afraid that nothing can be done about the Decree Absolute, or the issues regarding the children, unless your ex is prepared to commit to a court application.
Many of the hearings can be delay with by telephone conferencing or video link - but your partner will need to instruct a solicitor if he wishes to go this route.
From what you have said you believe that the financial issues have actually been resolved - so he shoudl write a letter confirming the agreement and the settlement and then apply for the Decree Absolute.
The only basis on which she could challenge it would be that finances are not resolved so the worst case scenario will be that the court grants a further delay to allow her to make a Court application.
However a letter that was sent prior to the applictaion may persuade the court to simply grant the Absolute
So far as the children are concerned the law says that children are entitled to regular contact with both parents and the courts will enforce this if necessary
At 15 it is up to elder child what times he spends with his father - but with the younger child a patterns will have to be agreed
Again any Court application can be dealt with to an extent via a phone or video link.
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Im very confused by your response?? you start off by saying nothing can be done about the decree absolute or the children unless MY EX???? is prepared to comit to a court application. What do you mean? as per the details I have provided it is my partners ex wife that is delaying the decree absolute and wanting more financially and causing the child contact problems. Are you saying my partner needs to comit to a court application or his ex wife??

Are you also saying if he gets a solicitor the court may deal with the decree absolute application and child contact order via a phone call?

He has email correspondence between him and his ex wife agreeing to the financial details prior to her now wanting more. Will these emails suffice to show what agreement was made before the Decree Nisi was granted by the court?

Please clarify these points


Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
My apologies - of course I meant your partner - not your ex nor his.
It is possible to have clients "attend" court via a conference call or a video link if necessary (costly though)
The emails are in no way binding - but they do show that agreement was reached