You and the Law – 18th January 2011

Reception among rubble

We booked a country manor hotel for my daughter’s wedding, which promised us a tranquil, pleasant environment.  But with a week to go, the place is like a builder’s yard.  If it’s not made good by the wedding I wonder if I would have any redress?  CH

The answer is almost certainly yes, but putting a figure on the amount of compensation you’d be entitled to might be difficult.  It would depend on the extent to which the building work spoiled your enjoyment of the occasion.

A country manor would be expected to provide a more picturesque setting than a city centre hotel; so if the price was, say 20 per cent more than a reception at a city centre hotel you could try asking the hotel to deduct that amount from the bill.  Take some pictures of the rubble in case you need evidence to bring to court.

Bargain divorce

I have been separated from my wife for more than six years.  I’m told that for £340.00 I can arrange my own divorce without consulting my wife by filling in a form.  How do you go about this?  PG

Divorce papers come with explanatory notes.  Once you have completed your petition (obtainable from the County Court) take or post it to the court together with the fee.  When the court has accepted the petition it will send a copy to your wife, who must acknowledge receipt.  You will be asked to complete an affidavit and swear that the contents of your petition are true.

You will also have to complete a form asking the court to proceed with the divorce.  If everything is in order the district judge will issue a certificate and fix a date for the decree nisi to be read out in open court.
Sorting out your finances could however be more complicated, and I recommend you discuss this with a solicitor.

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