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 Thomas Judge Your Own Question
Thomas Judge
Thomas Judge, Family Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33393
Experience:  Over twenty-five years experience
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Thomas Judge is online now

Divorce. I filed a response in time to contest my wife's unexpected divorce petition.

This answer was rated:

Divorce. I filed a response in time to contest my wife's unexpected divorce petition. There are unusual circumstances involving her mental health issues which would justify there being a contested hearing. Unfortunately I am dyslexic and did not pay the fee. I was unaware a fee was payable until the form was returned.
They returned the petition to me and I paid by return - by then it was out of time. I sent an explanation to the court who ordered a cmd should be called to determine whether the response was out of time and if so should an extension should be granted. I am now familiar with the case of Price v Price (2014).
The matter was ordered to be transferred from Liverpool the regional centre to my home court at Preston. Today I learnt that the directions hearing was to be listed for 12-16 weeks for processing of Form A and other directions.
It seems to me this should not be the case.
The matter of the out of time issue should be first determined by oral evidence and
The court may of its own motion have agreed to your application (or the court may have made such an application on its own accord) to grant your application to file out of time in light of the very reasonable excuse. The court has the power to make such decisions under CPR Part 3 using its inherent powers. Happy to discuss. Please rate positively - thanks
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I understand the court has such powers under FPR rule 4.6. What I am asking is that given the directions by Liverpool DJ for an immediate CMD to determine whether it was out of time before transferring case to Preston. Preston DJ then listed Directions Hearing for Form A. No mention of the out of time application.

Am also worried that previously her solicitor had written to me asking for voluntary disclosure and negotiation and I had initially agreed. After speaking to a solicitor on a one off basis I understood this was not required before a contested hearing. I misunderstood the significance of this in terms of negotiation I then wrote to her again saying my understanding was I didn't have to do this yet. I have included the correspondence as it is easier to understand. Should I send a letter asking solicitor to suspend form A and pursue negotiation or is this now fruitless? Cant seem to load the docs?

Negotiation is never fruitless and it may well be helpful in your case to agree to a form of mediation where you can attempt to resolve questions/issues. You may wish for this to be on a without prejudice basis so that what you say as to any settlement is not brought up in court. So there is merit if you see this as the way forward to agree to a short stay in the proceedings for the purpose of negotiation. I hope that this helps. Please remember to rate positively.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks your reply was useful. However about the initial issue of Directions. Should I apply to have the out of time issue heard prior to the Form A hearing? Or is this not viable? Will rate you positively after this. Thanks

The out of time application needs to be dealt with ideally at the time of directions
Thomas Judge and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you