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Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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I applied absolute in april, approved by court.

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i applied for decree absolute in april, approved by court. my ex wife now applied to court to set aside decree absolute to my total surprise (decree nisi granted in late 2013). today i received a family court hearing end of the week. more complicated she is currently abroad in asia for 3 weeks. in an email she states she now insists financial settlement prior decr absolute. my solic wants to provide barrister (and me to pay for) to represent me in court hearing unless my wife revokes the application. how do i go ahead? can she have set aside or delay decree absolute?

Hi, thanks for your question. It is reasonable for either party to request that Decree Absolute is not granted until settlement of financial matters - this is because Decree Absolute will end certain rights afforded to married couples arising out of the marriage.

Is there any reason why you need the Decree Absolute to be granted prior to financial matters settling?

Harris and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thanks. i was married almost 10 years, our son is 9. i am a doctor , my ex a writer with nearly no income. very troubled relationship. probably mental health / personality issues on her side. filed decree nisi nearly 3 years ago on unreasonable behaviour. spend 15k plus on lawyer and mediator. mediation failed utterly. zero cooperation. decided to file decr absolute in april 1st via my solic. i look after my son 4/7 days, ex abroad a lot however we still share rented house which I intend to terminate contract prior summer to seperate
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
1- she will not be able to go to court hearing this friday/ she emailed me to agree to postpone and go without lawyer. if i attend i will have to pay barrister + solic fees ( a lot i suppose)
2- i have no intention to delay decr absolute since i see it a waste of time and money to try for 2-3 years to find any agreement (suffering her adultery and abusive volatile/narcisistic behaviour etc for 5 years)
3- i did not move out or act years ago because of fear of loosing my son who i am very close and protect from her

Thanks - have financial relief proceedings commenced?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
we had financial disclosure under mediation by a senior solicitor , but my wife abandonned further agreement after 8 sessions (and 6000 gbp)

Thank you - the evidence of efforts you have undertaken to settle the finances with no conclusion can assist you in opposing her application to delay decree absolute.

However, you should be mindful that courts usually agree to delay the granting of decree absolute if there are assets and finances yet to be settled.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thanks . thats helpful answer. so do i have to show up in court this friday, pay fees to barristers etc (without my wife attending) . i understand only she (currently in south korea) would need to request a new hearing date or -unlikely- cancel/ vacate the hearing

If the hearing has not been formally vacated or relisted to a different date by the court then you should attend - you can do this yourself and do not necessarily need legal representation. If you both agree to vacate the hearing to a different date then a consent order can be prepared and signed by both of you to relist it to a different date.

If you were to attend and she did not then the court has the power to make an order in her absence, which may be helpful for you as the court will not look kindly if she did not attend given that it is her application.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
that is interesting . is it usual for someone to attend without solicitor or barrister in such circumstances or adviced ( i know that is a tricky question) . but what will the court aim at (she refused to open her original request to my solicitor by email today, she stated she wrote personally to the court directly to give it a try- i am not sure whether financial settlement was on her mind...
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
is it possible she is represented by a barrister in her abscense ?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
forgot finances : very little assets both sides, no home ownership/ mortgage, nhs pension cetv ca 140k.

A lot of people do tend to represent themselves in family proceedings.

Yes, a barrister can attend on her behalf an explain her absence.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
mr harris, can i ask you one more question re tenancy