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He's playing stupid

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Softcentre posted 5/2/2014 02:14 AM

Quick recap:
I'm in the UK and the way we file is a bit different to the US. It's considered 'bad form' to just serve divorce papers on your spouse with no notice and very few solicitors (lawyers) would be willing to do that. So I had to have the solicitor send The Arse a draft petition and we let him have a week to respond before filing the petition formally with the court.

The Arse responded by demanding an open letter/disclaimer stating:

1. This does not amount to acceptance that he has behaved intolerably as alleged or at all
2. In the unlikely event of his conduct being in issue, that I will not rely upon the fact that he has not defended the allegations as evidence that they are true but will seek to prove them afresh [this is about being worried that it will affect the financial negotioations if he doesn't challenge the finance unreasonable behaviour bits]
3. My claim for decree costs will be limited to 50%, say, 500 inclusive of tax and court fees

At first I assumed this was a normal process. But because I'm a priest and could be subject to disciplinary measures for divorcing, especially if I basically state that I might be making it all up. No way did I want to write that letter.

So I asked the solicitor to file anyway and that I wasn't going to write the letter. The solicitor's secretary told me that this disclaimer letter wasn't a normal demand at all.

So now:

The papers were filed. I got my stamped copy of my petition. My solicitor's gave his solicitor's The Arse's stamped copy & response form, in person. That's when the games started.

I texted The Arse to see if he'd got his yet. He denied it. When I saw him in person (kid handover) I asked again, he denied and I suggested he ask his solicitor. Eventually he said he was going to be sent an email version. But the date he said that was after....

....the date a letter was sent to my solicitor's, from his solicitor acting confused. To give background. With the court stamped petition, my solicitor added some kind of a basic cover letter

This is The Arse's solicitor's letter

We thank you for your letter of [date when my solicitor delivered stamped petition to them] with enclosures

You do not acknowledge receipt of prior letter of the [date when they sent their demand of disclaimer letter] but we assume you have received it as the second paragraph of your letter under reply seems to be in response to numbered paragraph 1 of our letter but ignores numbered paragraphs 2 and 3 [which were the demands for the open letter]

Please let us have, in an open letter, the responses sought, and we will proceed appropriately

My solicitor replied stating that I was standing by my grounds & had instructed them to proceed with the petition. That hopefully we could negotiate amicably about the costs and that The Arse was free to say whatever he wanted in his response to the court...This was all written in plain English.

But,grr...Firstly, you wanker, the stamped court petition was enclosed, so it's very clear that I HAVE FILED ALREADY (but note, they don't mention receiving the petition, just treating it like they only got the cover letter). Secondly, my solicitor made it clear that I stand by my grounds, so no open letter. Thirdly, don't try and blackmail me into writing a letter I don't have to and don't wish to write. Respond how you like, it's not contingent on me doing what you want.

The Arse is playing stupid. The poor innocent reasonable pity-me victim, whilst casting me into the role of unreasonable aggressive bully. And he's stalling from doing what he knows he should/must, until I do what he wants....This is very familiar to me

[This message edited by Softcentre at 2:23 AM, May 2nd, 2014 (Friday)]

justinpaintoday posted 5/2/2014 05:17 AM

I am sorry for your struggles. I certainly do not understand all the civilities of the UK D system but I do understand the Bible a little.

Jesus specifically states that D is allowable in the case of adultery. I would encourage u to discuss ur situation with ur superior. If ur church is aligned with Biblical teachings ur challenege should not be with them.

Just my opinion.

Softcentre posted 5/2/2014 05:52 AM

Yes, you're right My grounds for divorce are fine with the church denomination. However...if I write a disclaimer letter, then I'm perjuring myself and also saying that it didn't really happen.Then I would start to have church disciplinary issues.

And,well, I don't have to write it and am not going to.

What should happen now is that he should respond to the court. His options are:

1. Agree with the petition and sign it
2. Sign the petition but put a note/letter on it saying how he feels but that he won't defend the divorce
3. Defend the divorce. He would have to say that the marriage has not broken down irretrievably and prove why. This basically almost never succeeds and he wants the divorce, anyway.
4. Counter petition on his own grounds for divorce. This would be expensive because a judge would have to decide which petition to grant. Given that what he has done is so severe (infidelity and financial bad behaviour) compared to what he could claim about me. And that I have his emailed confession (which contains worse stuff than I put in the petition) and one of the OW would be willing to testify for me if she really had would be very foolish to do that.

Basically this open letter he wants me to write is a way of trying to save face. He could write that same thing, himself, on the response to the petition. But that isn't good enough for him. He doesn't just want to put his side.What he wants is to be able to say to himself/others/court that Softcentre just said those things to get the D,so he can minimise what he's done. It's a way of trying to control me and to get me to collude with him. If I write that letter, then he can't be all that bad, right?

And if he signs that response, he is actually admitting what he has done. And he will HATE having to do that.

[This message edited by Softcentre at 5:53 AM, May 2nd, 2014 (Friday)]

kg201 posted 5/2/2014 06:20 AM

I'm not sure if this is the case in the UK, but in "no-fault" states the divorce is filed saying that the divorce is sought for a break down of the marriage, with no specific fault assigned. I could have filed as her affair being the cause if the divorce, but it is very hard to prove and no one does it. I would have had to have video of the two of them affairing (is that a word?) on a number of occasions to show adultery. In my state the last time someone successfully showed adultery was in the early 80s and and the accused was fined $50 (it's still considered a crime I believe).

So I plan I stand my ground in court and be clear about her actions, but it probably won't make much difference unless she makes our divorce proceedings about character, which I believe she may try to.

So stand in front if the court and you tell it like it is. Arsehead gets to face his public. If the love is soooo grand he should be screaming it from the rooftops.

Softcentre posted 5/2/2014 07:05 AM

In the UK the only way to divorce is to prove irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. This is done in one of the following ways (copied from here

a) The respondent has committed adultery and the petitioner finds it intolerable to live with the respondent.

To rely on adultery either your spouse must admit it, or you much have evdience that sexual intercouse has taken place.

(b) The respondent has behaved in such a way that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent.

This is known as "unreasonable behaviour. You need to give the court 5 or 6 short examples of behaviour you consider to be unreasonable in the circumstances of your marriage.

(c) The respondent has deserted the petitioner for a continuous period of at least two years immediately before the start of the divorce.

This is known as desertion, and must be a real and proper desertion.

(d) You have lived apart for a continuous period of at least two years immediately before the start of the divorce and the respondent consents to a decree being granted.

This is known as 2 years separation by consent - and you must have the consent of your spouse to petition utilising this fact.

(e) You have lived apart for a continuous period of at least five years immediately before the start of the divorce.

a) and b) can be filed for straight away, but the last instance has to be less than 6 months before the start of separation. c) and d) require 2 years separation before you can file. e) requires 5 years separation.

Uk divorces are also split into three separate parts which do not relate to each other:
1) The dissolution of the marriage
2) Arrangements for children
3) Financial agreement

I'm going for b) Unreasonable behaviour. That way I can list both the infidelity and the financial stuff. Then The Arse will have to pay for my fees relating to the dissolution of the marriage (but not the other two parts of the divorce) because of his behaviour. There is no such thing as a no fault divorce in the UK. There always has to be a petitioner and respondent.

GabyBaby posted 5/2/2014 10:32 AM

Your topic title is "He's Playing Stupid".
From the antics he's pulled and continues to pull...I dont think he's playing.

Hang in there SoftCentre. The ride looks like it'll be bumpy, but you can see the finish line now!

Softcentre posted 5/2/2014 11:51 AM


Ok. I phoned The Arse earlier and told him outright. I am not writing that open letter/disclaimer.

Then I phoned my solicitor's secretary to find out what the hold up is. Yup, the reason he hasn't responded to the petition is that he wants me to write the open letter. Well, he knows now, that is not going to happen.

You see I phoned the court house earlier to find out something else,and I asked them if this open letter thing is usual. No, it isn't.

My solicitor wants to meet up with me next week to discuss how to handle this. I get the impression she wants me to write the letter. Yes, I'm looking like the unreasonable one, whereas he is being ridiculous!

I feel that I can't crumble on this one or a number ofreasons:

1) I am not lying. To say otherwise WOULD be to make a liar of me and make me less credible before a court
2) He is expecting me to protect his feelings/reputation. Well he fired me from that job...
3) He's trying to get out of paying the full amount of my fees for the dissolution part. Umm, The Arse was the one who made me go onto government benefits,whileheearnsloads. Why would I agree to that? I mean it really is dumb to expect me to write a letter like this that has no benefit for me at all
4) This is his first salvo in this divorce. It's an unusual, unreasonable and entitled request, trying to manipulate me into saving his reputation. If I succumb to this, there will be more. Given that the next step is mediation, I need to be feeling strong and empowered. I need to stay firm.
5) He was the one who hid his debt, he had the A, he wanted the D. Time for him to face what he did...

Nature_Girl posted 5/2/2014 12:00 PM

I wouldn't write that letter, either. He wants you to absolve him of his sin. Screw that. That's what God is for.

Softcentre posted 5/2/2014 12:14 PM

I wouldn't write that letter, either. He wants you to absolve him of his sin. Screw that. That's what God is for.

Umm, yeah, somehow he lost his faith too...when I found out about the A

You're right, he wants me to say it didn't happen. To a court. And he's confident he can get me to do that because of how he conditioned me. How's that for gaslighting?

Nature_Girl posted 5/2/2014 12:20 PM

My first attorney tried to get me to roll over & give my ex everything he wanted. I fired her.

Softcentre posted 5/2/2014 12:58 PM

My solicitor is good.

Trouble is, in the UK most family solicitors are part of Resolution,which tries to get divorcing couples to mediate etc to avoid bad feeling, so that the children benefit from a healthier relationship between the parents.There's a lot of evidence to say how important that is. The solicitors have a code of practice which includes trying to prevent unnecessary conflict between the parents.

So I think she's trying to find a way round his request to get him to sign the response. Mind you his solicitor is also a member of resolution, so maybe I can get her to put pressure on The Arse's solicitor...

Then again. If The Arse remembers what I'm like, he'd remember that while I am open to changing my mind generally (if given good evidence or if manipulated by him) on neutral things, once I've decided that something is WRONG and that I need to take a stand...I stand firm.

Skan posted 5/2/2014 20:46 PM

How about simply telling your solicitor that morally, as a priest, you cannot commit perjury by writing this letter and that you are a bit puzzled by her seeming legal advice that you do so. And that this topic is closed.

Softcentre posted 5/3/2014 04:20 AM

Skan, that's exactly what I'm going to do!

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