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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33293
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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Hi. I have been taking care of my three children for the last

Customer Question

Hi. I have been taking care of my three children for the last 13 years (since 6th October 2000) on my own. My ex husband deserted us and have not been giving any alimony. He has been living South Africa since 6th November 2000. I filed for divorce in 2007 here in the UK but did not know his whereabouts so did not pursue alimony. Today I find that I have raised 3 children all on my own without so much as a crumb of bread as contribution from his end. in the first 10 years the father did not make any direct contact with his children. He phoned me a few times. My son (the eldest) returned to SA twice to try and establish a relationship with his father but both times failed and his father send my son back to me. Raising and parenting his own son was too big a burden. Today at 46, I am satisfied that I have decidated my life to raising and nurturing my children and with the two girls having completed University, I feel that I have done good by them. My problem is that I because of the emotional burden/stress together with the huge financial burden/stress (at timses I held two jobs at a time), I have not had opportunity to invest in my own pension/savings. This late in the game, do I have a legal claim to gain financial compensation from my ex? I simply did not have the emotional energy or finances to fight this legal battle in the past and simply did what I had to do to get by emotionally especially as well as financially. Hopefully the Universe feels that justice should be done on my behalf and that of my children. BTW - my children is hugely supportive of me taking this step because they know how difficult it was for me/us and that I have always put them first. Your response and guidance gratefully accepted. Ms J (Ps. The father is Portuguese and I am South African. Children hold both passports but I am in the UK as EEA national - On Account of Children. I do have a contact number for Rui Oliveira Passos (father) in South Africa right now. He has remarried after the divorce and has been with this partner since around 2002.

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question
I shall do my best to assist you but need some further information first.
Were any financial issues raised at the time of the divorce?
Have you remarried at all?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

no financial issues raised - I did not even know where he was at the time other than "somewhere in South Africa" and I did not even have to get his signature to finalise the divorce. No, I have never remarried or lived with a partner or even had a serious partner. He has been with partner most of the time though and has since remarried. Many thanks




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Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
When you submitted your Petition do you remember if you ticked the boxes about financial issues?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Hi - I had to check up on this hence the delay in replying, apologies - I cant remember exactly how I worded it but I would have mentioned that my ex husband was not contributing financially but that I did not know his whereabouts and therefore could not pursue him for alimony.


Thanks


 

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
On the back page there is a list of tick boxes about making financial claims - did you tick these at all?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


I think I did not tick to make a financial claim.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Does your ex have any assets here in the UK?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


he has no assets here in the UK and has not been here since 2000. He works and resides in South Africa, he has a job and is married with partner who also holds a job but other than this information I don't know anything about his circumstances.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Legally you could still make a claim against your ex within the Divorce Proceedings
However since he has no assets or income here frankly the chances of your obtaining an enforceable order are slender.
Whilst it is possible to enforce UK Orders in South Africa it is neither easy not cheap.
Realistically I am afraid that there is simply nothing to be gained from making the application now
I am sorry that the news is not better - do please ask if you need further information
Claire

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