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Divorce - Court Incompetence and Delays

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I issued a divorce in summer 2018. Initially this was under the grounds of unreasonable behaviour.

After a short directions hearing, upon the objections of the ex, (who has significant mental health issues), I agreed to amend the Divorce Petition's grounds to two years' separation with consent for the sake of ease and civility.

In the hearing she agreed to acknowledge service on that basis so we could proceed.

Yet once I'd amended the form that day after court, she refused to acknowledge service and told me she couldn't deal with anything and that I must deal with a third party. Her attitude completely changed from what she presented in court.

I chased for over a year trying to get the court to deem service and progress to decree nisi. In the summer of 2019 it finally got listed for Decree Nisi pronouncement and she emailed the judge a week before and got it cancelled saying she didn't acknowledge.

We live apart and have done for over 3 years with no contact, no kids. No significant issues to hold up the divorce. All delays have been due to technicalities and, inexplicably and spitefully to no aim, the ex reneging over agreements in court and trying to frustrate matters for the hell of it it would seem and to frustrate.

I've been chasing the court since then to get them to process this. Last directions sent from the Judge around 3 months ago was that at the time of issue of application, 2 years separation did not exist so it would fail on that basis and would need to be reissued. I do not want to spend yet another £550 issuing another application when the JUDGE HIMSELF IN THE DIRECTIONS HEARING AGREED THAT AMENDING THE D8 LIKE THIS WAS THE WAY FORWARD. HE SUGGESTED IT AND I AGREED. So I acted purely on what the judge told me to do!

So 1) any one with any ideas how to progress in this own personal matter in particular?; and

2)
Litigants CANNOT GET THROUGH TO THE COURT FOR LOVE NOR MONEY. 
They do not have a working phone line, it simply cuts out. Emails are ignored.
I've raised a formal complaint through Resolve. No reply. I've also contacted my local MP to take up this issue. 

The point is:- this isn't access to justice. It is frankly unacceptable. I've been involved with courts before but never seen anything like this level of incompetence of service.

What can I do to ensure that both myself and others have access to justice and the court behaves and functions in a fit-for-purpose manner?!

Replies

  • DUTRDUTR Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    I issued a divorce in summer 2018. Initially this was under the grounds of unreasonable behaviour.

    After a short directions hearing, upon the objections of the ex, (who has significant mental health issues), I agreed to amend the Divorce Petition's grounds to two years' separation with consent for the sake of ease and civility.

    In the hearing she agreed to acknowledge service on that basis so we could proceed.

    Yet once I'd amended the form that day after court, she refused to acknowledge service and told me she couldn't deal with anything and that I must deal with a third party. Her attitude completely changed from what she presented in court.

    I chased for over a year trying to get the court to deem service and progress to decree nisi. In the summer of 2019 it finally got listed for Decree Nisi pronouncement and she emailed the judge a week before and got it cancelled saying she didn't acknowledge.

    We live apart and have done for over 3 years with no contact, no kids. No significant issues to hold up the divorce. All delays have been due to technicalities and, inexplicably and spitefully to no aim, the ex reneging over agreements in court and trying to frustrate matters for the hell of it it would seem and to frustrate.

    I've been chasing the court since then to get them to process this. Last directions sent from the Judge around 3 months ago was that at the time of issue of application, 2 years separation did not exist so it would fail on that basis and would need to be reissued. I do not want to spend yet another £550 issuing another application when the JUDGE HIMSELF IN THE DIRECTIONS HEARING AGREED THAT AMENDING THE D8 LIKE THIS WAS THE WAY FORWARD. HE SUGGESTED IT AND I AGREED. So I acted purely on what the judge told me to do!

    So 1) any one with any ideas how to progress in this own personal matter in particular?; and

    2)
    Litigants CANNOT GET THROUGH TO THE COURT FOR LOVE NOR MONEY. 
    They do not have a working phone line, it simply cuts out. Emails are ignored.
    I've raised a formal complaint through Resolve. No reply. I've also contacted my local MP to take up this issue. 

    The point is:- this isn't access to justice. It is frankly unacceptable. I've been involved with courts before but never seen anything like this level of incompetence of service.

    What can I do to ensure that both myself and others have access to justice and the court behaves and functions in a fit-for-purpose manner?!
    And others didn't seek your assistance, self preservation is key, just get your own circumstance sorted.
  • Comms69Comms69 Forumite
    13K posts
    10,000 Posts Third Anniversary Name Dropper
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    I issued a divorce in summer 2018. Initially this was under the grounds of unreasonable behaviour.

    After a short directions hearing, upon the objections of the ex, (who has significant mental health issues), I agreed to amend the Divorce Petition's grounds to two years' separation with consent for the sake of ease and civility.

    In the hearing she agreed to acknowledge service on that basis so we could proceed.

    Yet once I'd amended the form that day after court, she refused to acknowledge service and told me she couldn't deal with anything and that I must deal with a third party. Her attitude completely changed from what she presented in court.

    I chased for over a year trying to get the court to deem service and progress to decree nisi. In the summer of 2019 it finally got listed for Decree Nisi pronouncement and she emailed the judge a week before and got it cancelled saying she didn't acknowledge.

    We live apart and have done for over 3 years with no contact, no kids. No significant issues to hold up the divorce. All delays have been due to technicalities and, inexplicably and spitefully to no aim, the ex reneging over agreements in court and trying to frustrate matters for the hell of it it would seem and to frustrate.

    I've been chasing the court since then to get them to process this. Last directions sent from the Judge around 3 months ago was that at the time of issue of application, 2 years separation did not exist so it would fail on that basis and would need to be reissued. I do not want to spend yet another £550 issuing another application when the JUDGE HIMSELF IN THE DIRECTIONS HEARING AGREED THAT AMENDING THE D8 LIKE THIS WAS THE WAY FORWARD. HE SUGGESTED IT AND I AGREED. So I acted purely on what the judge told me to do!

    So 1) any one with any ideas how to progress in this own personal matter in particular?; and

    2)
    Litigants CANNOT GET THROUGH TO THE COURT FOR LOVE NOR MONEY. 
    They do not have a working phone line, it simply cuts out. Emails are ignored.
    I've raised a formal complaint through Resolve. No reply. I've also contacted my local MP to take up this issue. 

    The point is:- this isn't access to justice. It is frankly unacceptable. I've been involved with courts before but never seen anything like this level of incompetence of service.

    What can I do to ensure that both myself and others have access to justice and the court behaves and functions in a fit-for-purpose manner?!
    Divorce is never quick, and it shouldnt be. That's been a principle of law and marriage for centuries. 
  • pphillipspphillips Forumite
    1.1K posts
    1,000 Posts Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭
    I issued a divorce in summer 2018. Initially this was under the grounds of unreasonable behaviour.

    After a short directions hearing, upon the objections of the ex, (who has significant mental health issues), I agreed to amend the Divorce Petition's grounds to two years' separation with consent for the sake of ease and civility.

    In the hearing she agreed to acknowledge service on that basis so we could proceed.

    Yet once I'd amended the form that day after court, she refused to acknowledge service and told me she couldn't deal with anything and that I must deal with a third party. Her attitude completely changed from what she presented in court.

    I chased for over a year trying to get the court to deem service and progress to decree nisi. In the summer of 2019 it finally got listed for Decree Nisi pronouncement and she emailed the judge a week before and got it cancelled saying she didn't acknowledge.

    We live apart and have done for over 3 years with no contact, no kids. No significant issues to hold up the divorce. All delays have been due to technicalities and, inexplicably and spitefully to no aim, the ex reneging over agreements in court and trying to frustrate matters for the hell of it it would seem and to frustrate.

    I've been chasing the court since then to get them to process this. Last directions sent from the Judge around 3 months ago was that at the time of issue of application, 2 years separation did not exist so it would fail on that basis and would need to be reissued. I do not want to spend yet another £550 issuing another application when the JUDGE HIMSELF IN THE DIRECTIONS HEARING AGREED THAT AMENDING THE D8 LIKE THIS WAS THE WAY FORWARD. HE SUGGESTED IT AND I AGREED. So I acted purely on what the judge told me to do!

    So 1) any one with any ideas how to progress in this own personal matter in particular?; and

    2)
    Litigants CANNOT GET THROUGH TO THE COURT FOR LOVE NOR MONEY. 
    They do not have a working phone line, it simply cuts out. Emails are ignored.
    I've raised a formal complaint through Resolve. No reply. I've also contacted my local MP to take up this issue. 

    The point is:- this isn't access to justice. It is frankly unacceptable. I've been involved with courts before but never seen anything like this level of incompetence of service.

    What can I do to ensure that both myself and others have access to justice and the court behaves and functions in a fit-for-purpose manner?!
    Make a complaint in writing to the court as they clearly aren't following the judge's instructions.
  • edited 1 July at 3:22PM
    bestfootiebestfootie Forumite
    56 posts
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    edited 1 July at 3:22PM
    pphillips said:
    Make a complaint in writing to the court as they clearly aren't following the judge's instructions.
    I have done; I receive no reply.
    I've now sent a follow-up email to the court and in seven days will escalate if need be.
    Not sure what other avenues I have available to me?
    -----
    Comms69 said:
    Divorce is never quick, and it shouldnt be. That's been a principle of law and marriage for centuries. 
    Why do you suggest divorce shouldnt (sic) be quick? For what it's worth, the law is changing and within the next year the law will recognise no-fault divorce, making the process much simpler and less painful. Your sentence is frankly a value-judgement and bears no help or relevance (besides the fact I disagree with you) to what I posted. It's also not true for all cultures. Thanks for contributing anyway though! :-)
    ------
    Anyone with specific experience in how to get my own case sorted so I can actually become divorced?
  • Comms69Comms69 Forumite
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    pphillips said:
    Make a complaint in writing to the court as they clearly aren't following the judge's instructions.
    I have done; I receive no reply.
    I've now sent a follow-up email to the court and in seven days will escalate if need be.
    Not sure what other avenues I have available to me?
    -----
    Comms69 said:
    Divorce is never quick, and it shouldnt be. That's been a principle of law and marriage for centuries. 
    Why do you suggest divorce shouldnt (sic) be quick? For what it's worth, the law is changing and within the next year the law will recognise no-fault divorce, making the process much simpler and less painful. Your sentence is frankly a value-judgement and bears no help or relevance (besides the fact I disagree with you) to what I posted. It's also not true for all cultures. Thanks for contributing anyway though! :-)
    ------
    Anyone with specific experience in how to get my own case sorted so I can actually become divorced?
    Because marriage shouldnt be "we've dated for a while, lets throw a party." 

    As for cultures, that is largely secondary to the law isnt it?
  • edited 1 July at 3:41PM
    cheskychesky Forumite
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    edited 1 July at 3:41PM
    The courts have an enormous backlog at present, due to COVID-19.  Although the cases most suffering are those with juries, all cases are affected.   The CPS have said it might take years to get rid of the backlog.  
  • edited 1 July at 4:32PM
    pphillipspphillips Forumite
    1.1K posts
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    ✭✭✭
    edited 1 July at 4:32PM
    pphillips said:
    Make a complaint in writing to the court as they clearly aren't following the judge's instructions.
    I have done; I receive no reply.
    I've now sent a follow-up email to the court and in seven days will escalate if need be.
    Not sure what other avenues I have available to me?
    -----
    Comms69 said:
    Divorce is never quick, and it shouldnt be. That's been a principle of law and marriage for centuries. 
    Why do you suggest divorce shouldnt (sic) be quick? For what it's worth, the law is changing and within the next year the law will recognise no-fault divorce, making the process much simpler and less painful. Your sentence is frankly a value-judgement and bears no help or relevance (besides the fact I disagree with you) to what I posted. It's also not true for all cultures. Thanks for contributing anyway though! :-)
    ------
    Anyone with specific experience in how to get my own case sorted so I can actually become divorced?
    I think you just have to go through the the court's complaint procedure, this will take time and you'll need to be patient. If no success, then ask your MP to have the complaint dealt with at ministerial level.
  • edited 1 July at 6:48PM
    bestfootiebestfootie Forumite
    56 posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    edited 1 July at 6:48PM
    Comms69 said:
    Because marriage shouldnt be "we've dated for a while, lets throw a party."
    As for cultures, that is largely secondary to the law isnt it?
    Again, value judgements. We will agree to disagree. I'm pretty conservative fwiw. The law is finally catching up with what should have been the case a long long time ago (my own value judgement).
    chesky said:
    The courts have an enormous backlog at present, due to COVID-19.  Although the cases most suffering are those with juries, all cases are affected.   The CPS have said it might take years to get rid of the backlog.  
    Gosh! That is not good news at all! These outrageous delays have actually been happening since 2018, no word of a lie, so while covid-19 may have played a part in furthering delays, the court's system was shockingly unfit for purpose for a long time before.
    pphillips said:
    I think you just have to go through the the court's complaint procedure, this will take time and you'll need to be patient. If no success, then ask your MP to have the complaint dealt with at ministerial level.
    This has all been done. Complaint is in motion at both levels. I suppose the absolute last resort would be a JR but they are notoriously expensive and without legal aid these days, again there is no longer access to justice for these things anymore...
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