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WA Family Law - Should I Adhere to Solicitor's Deadline?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by MP78, 14 October 2016.

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  1. MP78

    MP78 Member

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    Hi,

    I am in receipt of correspondence from my former partner's solicitor regarding a family law matter, and I am given no more than 1 business day to respond (this is marked in bold, underscored, etc., in the letter). There is no accompanying court deadline, just an instruction to respond to a counter offer within 1 business day. Mediation has not commenced either.

    As I work full-time as a single mother, am I being unreasonable on advising that I will respond within 5 business days, that being a reasonable time to properly review the correspondence and draft a response?
     
  2. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Write back when you have a chance. Don't engage a solicitor at this point but just write back and politely inform them that you're in the process if responding. However, you feel their 1 day deadline is unreasonable and if the would like to disagree then can they please write back within 21 days to justify the reasons for disagreeing.

    Yep, it is stupid.

    Now I'm assuming this is the first letter? Not the third or fourth? And I'm assuming you have not been dragging the chain / delaying?

    So help us out - what is the info in the letter? Appears to be about property settlement?
     
  3. MP78

    MP78 Member

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    Thanks Sammy01

    It's the third letter from them, responding to my second (letter).

    Each party has taken anywhere between 2 - 3 weeks to respond, although now they have insisted on 1 business day.

    I have been receiving ad-hoc counsel from the solicitor who represented me through the initial settlement, and who has said I do not need to re-engage his services at this point, although happy to advise me over the phone in an effort to avoid going back to court. I have compromised on both occasions as advised although ex's lawyer keeps responding with further demands. This will go to mediation now.

    I'm fairly confident to continue unrepresented although feel I need more than 1 business day to prepare. I feel they are trying to pressure me into responding quickly.
     
  4. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Nothing a lawyer tells you to do in correspondence is binding. You don't have to reply at all if you don't want to, and nothing will ever come of it.

    Take all the time you need, if you want to respond at all.
     
  5. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Agree with the above comments. It is not reasonable unless there is some clear and compelling reason that is outside the control of the other party and the reason must impact on your negotiations. An event like this is extremely rare and is unlikely to apply here.

    Generally this behaviour is a negotiating tactic to elicit a response from you that is to your detriment. Commonly used when the other party thinks you are a pushover or under some kind of external time pressure of your own making.
     
  6. MP78

    MP78 Member

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    Much appreciated, thank you.

    Interesting behaviour, although I'm unperturbed. Will advise them (without delay), that I'll review and respond as soon as practicable.

    I have no interest in delaying this, but equally no intention of being pressured into a reactive position.
     

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