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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34885
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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Am back again............appreciated your last response

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Hi – am back again............appreciated your last response so here goes again with new developments!
Paragraph from Solicitor’s letter:
“In the event you are unwilling to progress the current divorce proceedings as set out above, please note that it would be our client’s intention to commence divorce proceedings on his own petition for divorce. Since you and our client have been separated for over two years it would be our client’s preference to complete a petition based on two years’ separation by consent provided you provide to us your written, irrevocable consent to this within 14 days of the date of this letter. If you are not willing to provide your consent to this however then our client will commence a petition based upon unreasonable behaviour. If our client does this then please note that our client will be obliged in his petition to make allegations of behaviour in order to obtain the divorce. Those allegations are not intended to offend or aggravate you.”
So – we have been separated 3 years. We had 2 x mediation sessions that I commissioned back in 2012, which we didn’t pursue any further as too expensive and neither of us were ready quite frankly to negotiate financials, so we didn’t get anywhere. It was an extremely expensive messy time. We just quietly went our own ways/ recover/ get on with life. I have since commissioned a Negotiator/Mediator representing me in March 2015 and Martin has agreed to liaise with him. This is all about completing a Financial Settlement package , to then complete the divorce.
I recently sent , via the negotiator 5 pages of documents and a dialogue on what there is to negotiate. We did the Form E exchange back in 2012. I received a newly commissioned solicitors letter yesterday stating this comment above. The letter is not particularly adversarial, but there is this passive aggressive statement thrown in there and it bothers me ! So I just wanted a legal take / comment on this. There is no mention in this letter of the Negiotator/mediator being currently used. My solicitor in London is waiting to proceed with the Divorce completion Process, with fees agreed upon by both parties in 2012; she is simply waiting for a Financial Settlement statement from a mediator. She is fabulous but mega expensive, so I don’t want to run this past her unnecessarily. My Negotiator immediately rang Martin’s solicitor today, to be advised that this solicitor is away for 2 weeks , so to appease my curiosity/ concern, I’m asking you! 
Thank you for your question.
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
For clarity - I thought your divorce had already been issued and Decree Nisi granted?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It looks like acknowledgement of service , done, but not decree Nisi. We went to mediation .......everything stopped at that point .
Is there any reason not to take the divorce forward immediately
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I don't want a decree absolute until the Financial Settlement is signed off. Soooo many more places in the process can things be "held" until the financal agreement is signed off?

That is a good reason to delay Decree Absolute - not Decree Nisi!
I am more than a little concerned that your solicitor has not told you that it is usual to delay the Decree Absolute rather than the Decree Nisi - not least because no Court Order can be made regarding the final financial position until after the Decree Nisi has been granted.
In fact your ex's solicitor is being very restrained in terms of pressure - quite probably because they feel that you have been poorly advised
Please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

She has advised this?! absolutely! ......hence why .......the process was stopped when it was. I will initiate the completion of Decree Nisi asap, but I've realised the questions I have; were omitted from the initial statement.....I have been wondering why you were asking so many questions! Sooo:

How much would it cost him starting from scratch and filing his own petition? ( he has spoken in the past of getting a cheapie done on the internet?)

How long would it take?

Aren’t there any technical obstacles that he would have to go through given that a petition is already filed at decree nisi level? ( I will ensure this is being done)

My Form E’s were completed/signed off by my Solicitor and used in Mediation #2 – it was Martin’s Form E’s that were not signed off/ incomplete and questioned considerably by the mediator. Doesn’t this exchange of Form E’s mean anything from preventing him filing another petition?

Wouldn’t he have to provide evidence that mediations/negiotations have failed?

Can I contest whatever allegation is made up / contest that he is unnecessarily impeding an existing process? - without using a solicitor/paying money?

The obvious question is why is he doing this?! .......and 1 x possibility is that he does not want to financially settle as he is not on a sufficient income to have the mortgage transferred. He just wants to push the divorce through – allowing procrastination/ avoidance of financials, that are not favourable to him at this point in time.

The ending of the marriage and the financial issues are in fact entirely separate matters.
So far as the divorce is concerned once you have the Decree Nisi then there is no longer any question of your ex issuing his own petition.
If you do not apply then he can apply to have your petition dismissed and his issue - a process which will take eight to ten weeks and cost £1000 or so - costs he may try and claim from you
If Mediation has failed on the finances then the way forward is simple - you need to apply to the court for the court to deal with the financial issues.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Decree Nisi quickly then - thanks :-)

Correct - and you are welcome
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