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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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Can I contest the contents, which are all subjective, of

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Can I contest the contents, which are all subjective, of Part 6 of the statement of case of the draft Divorce Petition?
If yes, how should I respond? Do I have to give reasons why? If I give reasons, are these documented anywhere?
If no, how should I respond?
Do the contents of Part 6 of the statement of case of the draft Divorce Petition jeopardise my chances as a father of getting full custody of my two children?
Can I get full custody of my two children?
My wife, without my approval or knowledge, recently had a valuation of our house carried out. Apart from wanting to know the value of our house, is there any other reason why she would do this?
Can my wife put our house up ‘For Sale’ without my agreement/consent?
Can my wife sell our house whilst I am still living there?
Can my wife sell our house before we are divorced?

Hi, thank you for your question. Just a bit more information required to fully assist you:

-Is the divorce under unreasonable behaviour?

-Do you agree the marriage has irretrievably broken down?

-Whose name is ***** ***** in?

-How old are the children?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
HarrisThanks for responding to my e-mail and so quickly too.Yes. My wife has given her grounds for divorce as follows:"There have been difficulties in the marriage for the past few years. In the Petitioner's view the Respondent is difficult to live with. He often has mood swings and will give the Petitioner the silent treatment for periods of up to 3 weeks or more at a time which the Petitioner says creates a terrible atmosphere in the house and the Petitioner finds unbearable.The Respondent can be very short-tempered with the Petitioner, often over minor matters. The Petitioner shies away from arguments with the Respondent and feels that she is walking on eggshells around him all the time. Matters have got to the point where the Petitioner feels anxious about coming home because she does not know what mood the Respondent will be in.There is no physical or emotional intimacy between the parties anymore and the Respondent has been socialising independently of the Petitioner. During the past 6 months or so the Respondent has engaged in an increased level of communication via phone and text message with a female colleague at work which the Petitioner feels is inappropriate, albeit that the Respondent denies any emotional involvement with the female in question.In all the circumstances the Petitioner feels that the marriage has run its course and she cannot continue living with the Respondent any longer and is of the view that the marriage is at an end."I am extremely unhappy, as none of it is true, with everything my wife has stated in Part 6 of the statement of case, particularly my entirely innocent communications with a female colleague who is 22 years old, 17 years my junior meaning that I am old enough to be her dad!No. I do not agree that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. This has come as a completely unexpected bombshell and I have repeatedly suggested to my wife that we get impartial marriage guidance counselling at Relate to try to save our marriage, which is what I would like to do or at least try to do. She is not willing to do this and keeps refusing to come with me, but I am going to see a councillor on 5 October.The house is in both our names.My wife keeps threatening to call the Police because I refuse to leave the family home.Six and four years old.I believe that my mother-in-law, who was in an abusive and violent relationship and who is very controlling, is physically disciplining our children based on repeated comments (slapping and hitting) they have both told me she is doing to them whilst they are in her care, which I have them both saying on video and on voice recordings too. Despite raising my legitimate concerns repeatedly with my wife and my mother-in-law in the past they have both denied and dismissed that this is taking place.I am extremely concerned and worried about the welfare of our children, so much so, that I have reported the matter to The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) who based on the information I provided passed it onto The Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) Team. After carrying out some investigations the matter has now been passed onto a Case Officer.I believe that I am being punished by my wife and her mum for raising legitimate concerns in the past about her mum’s repeated and unacceptable physical disciplining of our children.Finally, my wife suffers from manic depression and is on anti-depressants to control her anger and is also a heavy user of cannabis and has been for the last 25 years.What should I do? Please advise/help.I look forward to hearing from you in due course.Regards.Nick

Thank you for confirming and apologies for the delay in responding.

In relation to the divorce you have a right to defend this and thereafter file a statement in response. It is likely the court will want to list this for a hearing for both of you to give evidence and for the judge to decide if the marriage has broken down - however you should be aware that in the majority of circumstances a divorce will be granted as if a petitioner has gone so far as issue divorce proceedings the relationship is likely to have broken down unless there can be a reconciliation between you. The court will have given you an acknowledgement of service and you should confirm you wish to defend the divorce and thereafter submit a answer to a divorce ( within 21 days of receiving the petition - but you must seriously consider if you wish to pursue a defence as it will be stressful and time consuming when you can spend that energy on the potential children and financial matters.

In relation to the property as it is in joint names you have a right to continue living there despite her pursuing a divorce. You can only be excluded if there is a court order and she will not be able to sell it without your involvement or consent, or without a court order.

In relation to the children you may wish to consider applying for a child arrangement order to court using form C100 and a £215 court fee - this will formalise the arrangements for the children although it will require formal court proceedings if nothing can be agreed between you.

I hope this assists you. If you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for your question without a positive rating. Thank you

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