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Financial Proceedings – Refusal to comply & costs order

26 April 2022

Divorce & Family

poole alcock alsager
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Refusal to comply & costs order

After being informed by her Husband that the marriage was over, the Wife instructed us to move matters forward so she could draw a line under the marriage and move on.  The divorce proceedings themselves progressed without any difficultly or delay but the Husband had a reluctance to agree to any settlement with the financial matters. After attempts to resolve the financial matters without seeking the Courts intervention it became apparent that the Husband was simply not going to engage on a voluntary basis and Court proceedings were inevitable to achieve the settlement that the wife sought and required to allow her to move on.  The Husband continued to refuse to engage and despite being ordered by the Court to do so, refused to provide any documents and refused to attend the Court Hearing on two occasions.

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Whilst the Court normally will not look to make Orders that one party should pay for the other parties costs in Family Proceedings, it also must give consideration to certain conduct and behavior.  In this case, the Wife was paying legal costs for us to prepare the documents needed for the Hearings and paying to be represented at those hearings but little progress could be made due to the Husband conduct and refusal to comply with the Court Orders. Whilst at the first Hearing, we made an application in person,  for the issue of costs to be reserved to the next hearing as we anticipated that the Husband would still refuse to comply.  We then made an application in person, at the second hearing that a costs order be made for the Husband to pay the Wife’s ‘wasted’ costs to that stage of the proceedings.  The Judge granted this request and the Husband was ordered to pay the Wife’s costs.   We also invited the Court to made an Order that if the Husband did not attend on the next occasion that a Final Order would be made in his absence. The Judge did so and lo and behold the Husband attended the next scheduled Hearing! A Final Order was achieved in this case and the Wife secured the financial security and property that she required to move on with her life.

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