How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35047
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Clare is online now

I have been separated from my husband since August 2008. We

This answer was rated:

I have been separated from my husband since August 2008. We have no dependent children or joint financial issues.
I commenced divorce proceedings in August 2009, but did not complete - as he stated he would not pay anything towards the costs - even though he was the partner who left.
He has now indicated, via a solicitor's letter that he wants me to continue with the divorce petition or he will do so and pass the costs to me.
I have no issue with the divorce and will not contest - but need to ensure that by ignoring his solicitors letter that I will not incur legal costs because he does not want to pay.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How far did the divorce reach?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I made the petition and my husband returned the Acknowledgement of Service.

At that point he stated in the acknowledgement that I had stated I would pay for the divorce.

I actually stated I would pay only for the divorce if it was me divorcing him, on the grounds of his adultry, or desertion. He refused on these grounds and I was advised to divorce on 'iritrievable breakdown' - as this was not the case I stopped the proceedings.

I hope this helps

Is he now willing to pay the costs for you to complete the Petition?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


His solictors letter states the following

"The purpose of this letter is to enquire whether or not you are prepred to profress your divorce petition. If not, that is of corse your perrogative but as our client is keen to now progress the divorce, this situation will leave him with no option but to apply for the dismissal of your petition and to instead apply to divorce you using his grounds. Our client is hopeful that this application will not prove necessary, as such a step is a costly one, such substantial cost he may seek to pass onto you"

I want to make sure that he cannot pass this cost onto me.


For clarity - you petitioned on the basis of Unreasonable Behaviour - he opted not to defend it , but did defend the issue of costs - is that correct?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


My grounds for divorce were

'the said marriage has broken down irretrievably'

'Unreasonable behaviour, The respondent has behaved in such a way that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with respondent'

In the 'Acknowledgment of Service' he answered questions as follows:

4. Do you intend to defend the case? NO

6.Even if you do not intend to defend the case do you object to paying the costs of the proceedings? YES

If so, on what grounds?? MRS M P BOOTH VERBALLY


As previously stated, I only agreed to pay for the divorce on the grounds of 'desertion' and/or' his audultary'

As the grounds of 'irretrivable breakdown' were giving him what he wanted, (at my expense) I decided to take no further action.

Hope this helps


Moira Booth

In fact the ground used was Unreasonable Behaviour.
I assume that you also made some specific accusations - I need to know as it effects the way forward
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


My specific accusations - were his affair with his current partner and possible others - he denied that any affair occured and the relationship only began after he left the marriage. His only concern was that he was not seen a bad father (our only child was over 18)

I still refute this - although I do not consider, after this period of time, that any good will be had by going over the old ground.

I am just very concerned that his solicitors letter indicates that he thinks he can pass the cost of his decision to divorce onto me.

I have no issue with him divorcing me - I just do not want to held responsbile for any costs when this is now his decision.


Moira Booth

If your ex has to apply for your petition to be dismissed so that he can issue his own then yes he can ask the court to order that you pay the costs of doing so.
From what you have said you might in fact find it difficult to move the existing petition forward, and it is entirely possible that the best way forward is for you to agree to your petition being dismissed by Consent and a new Petition being issued by your ex with no claim for costs being made.
If you are willing to agree this then that is what you shoudl tell his solicitor
Please ask if you need further details
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you