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ukfamilysolicitor
ukfamilysolicitor, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 744
Experience:  Divorce, Finances, Children, Domestic Violence, Care Proceedings
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As far as I am aware, a married couple cannot get a divorce

Customer Question

As far as I am aware, a married couple cannot get a divorce from the British Crown Court unless they one or both of the couple have done a desertion or have lived apart for either 2 years or 5 years. I am married to my wife and we are having relationship
problems since last 4 years and we are still living together in the same house and neither of us have done a desertion nor lived apart for either 2 or 5 years. However, my wife is saying that she can still get us both a divorce (decreee nisi and/or decree
absolute) from the help of a local solicitor without having to live apart for 2 or 5 years, in other words, she is saying that if we both end up living apart from now, she can still somehow get us both a divorce (whether or not from the Crown Court) within
few months without actually having to have to wait 2 years of living apart which is normally the main rules for being able too apply for a divorce. My wife is saying that she wants an English divorce/UK divorce from me and that a solicitor will send me a letter
up to three times regarding the divorce matters and that I would just have to sign it, and she further says that if I do not sign the letter by the third time then she says that we both will end up automatically being divorced nevertheless. I have not heard
nor come across this thing in the past where a solicitor can send someone a divorce related letter by up to three times for the person to sign and if the person still does not sign it by the third time then the marriage is automatically broken and that the
couple are automatically divorced without even filing for a divorce at the Crown Court using the D8 Divorce/dissolution/(judicial) separation petition form. Can you please tell me whether my wife is speaking the truth or if she is just lying to me about how
our divorce can take place on the basis of a solicitor just sending me a divorce related letter to sign where if I don't sign it the first time, second time or third time then by the end of third time the divorce automatically takes place, and if this is to
be the case, then how would the respondent receive a certificate for decree nisi and certificate for decree absolute from the crown court without even applying directly to the crown court nor making any visits to the crown court? And my other question is:
is it possible to get a divorce without filing a D8 divorce form to the crown court whilst not even living apart from the spouse for 2 years, or in other words, is it possible to get a divorce without filing a D8 divorce form to the court well before the rule
of '2 years of living apart' has even taken place? Under which circumstances can a divorce take place well before 2 years of living apart even takes place and not even needing to apply for divorce to crown court using D8 form? Is it true and is it possible
for someone or for a couple or one of the spouse to instruct a solicitor to get a married couple (i.e. themselves) a British/English divorce which the couple are looking for a lot quicker instead of having to have to live separately for two years, if this
is true, under which circumstances can the solicitor help the couple or one of the spouses get a British/English divorce without the couple even having to live separately for a total period of 2 years or more? I am very confused about this whole thing and
would appreciate if you can please clarify my queries and clear my misunderstandings about this whole issue about whether it is possible to obtain a divorce with or without visiting the crown court nor filing for D8 divorce form well before the 2 years of
living apart even takes place, and please clarify whether it is possible to simply ask a solicitor to send the other spouse a divorce letter and ask him to sign it in order for divorce to take place without the 2 year living apart rule even takes place and
that if the other spouse does not sign it by the third time he receives the letter from the wife's solicitor then the marriage is automatically broken and the couple are automatically divorced? Basically, is it legal or illegal and what are the rules or the
laws and circumstances in which a couple can get divorced and receive divorce certificates without needing to live separately for a period of 2 years and where they do not have to file for divorce using D8 divorce form, ...in other words, are there exceptional
circumstances or special circumstances, fast tracks or laws in place that allows a spouse or a couple to be able to get a divorce with the help of their solicitor on the basis of the solicitor just sending a few letters out to the other spouse and that the
divorce can take place without the couple living separately for at least 2 or 5 years, if so, what are these exceptional circumstances or special circumstances, fast tracks or special measures or laws that I have not come across nor heard of before?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Hello
Welcome to Just Answer
I am a Solicitor and will assist you.
I can confirm that I have considered your question and I would be grateful if you could kindly clarify the following for me:
- how long have you been married?
- do you want to be divorced?
- have you also considered the issue of matrimonial finances?
Kind Regards
Caroline
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We have been married since summer June 2010 and my wife is from Pakistan. My wife came to England in January 2011 and she received her Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK in 2013. Our relationship has not been going very well and we do not have any children either. My wife has mentioned to me she does not want anything from me such as monies or assets or shares etc except for a straight forward divorce and nothing more. I too am not happy in my marriage either due to wife's poor mentality, poor attitude and personality and I have been looking to end this marriage or come out of this marriage also just as much as my wife wants to end this marriage. She is not interested in receiving or taking anything from me like dowry, finances, savings, shares or property or any other assets and I am ok about that and have no problem with this.Normally, as I would have understood that the way we would only be able to get a divorce is by moving away and living separately and that too for 2 years at least and then after two years one of us would file for divorce using D8 divorce form and submitting it to crown court for decree nisi and decree absolute, but at the moment we have not even started to live separately and my wife is already telling me that she can get or will get a solicitor who will send me a few letters for me to sign for divorce and that if I do not sign the letter by the third time the solicitor sends me the letter - my wife said that the divorce would then happen anyway or automatically within the next few months. But I have not come across such a thing before that a divorce can actually take place on the basis of a solicitor sending me a couple of letters whether I sign it first time round or not sign any letters by third time round. None of this method of seeking divorce on the basis of solicitor sending out a few letters is mentioned anywhere on the internet nor on the www.gov.uk/divorce website.I am still wondering how can a UK divorce or English/British divorce take place without even submitting any D8 divorce form to the courts nor attending the courts nor even living apart for 2 years or more, but still being able to get divorced just on the basis of signing a few letters that a solicitor would send to me and that too whilst I'm still living with my wife in the same house or even if I moved away and lived separately from wife but well before the 2 years separation period. I am very confused with this. I don't know whether my wife is speaking the truth in these matters or whether her solicitor is doing the right thing or wrong thing or actually following the British Family Law for Divorce properly or if the solicitor is looking at evading some of the rules for seeking divorce or looking at any loopholes in order to get my wife and myself the divorce without us having to necessarily be living apart for the whole of the 2 year period as would normally be expected of by couples as outlined in the 'GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE'. I don't understand how any solicitor can fast track such a divorce without us be required to live apart for at least 2 years unless there are special rules or circumstances that allows the solicitor to enable a fast track divorces? I would like to know if what ever the solicitor is doing is correct or wrong/illegal and whether or not my wife is speaking the truth or lying on these matters, and I want to know what things I should therefore now be aware of just in case my wife's solicitor does end up sending me a few divorce related letters and what shall I do, e.g. shall I sign the letters or not sign them or shall I wait until we separate and live apart 2 years before one of us files for divorce at the court using D8 form?I just want to do the right thing and not do anything against the law you see. I hope you can please help me on this matter. Thank you
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Hello
Thank you for your response and for confirming to me that you do want to get divorced.
I think that has been a little confusion with the information that your wife has given to you.
The so called 'quickie divorces' are petitions based on unreasonable behaviour. For this type of petition - 6 or 7 reasons would need to be detailed in the petition as to why you can no longer remain married. There are some obvious examples of “unreasonable behaviour” which will be accepted by the courts in a divorce petition. These include physical violence, verbal abuse, cruelty and intimate relationships with other people even where no adultery has been committed. The picture becomes more complex where the behaviour is not so extreme. “Unreasonable behaviour” is a subjective concept that can mean different things to different people. What is reasonable to one person may be wholly intolerable to another. However, in Bannister v Bannister (1980) (10 Fam Law 240, CA), it was held that the test for “unreasonable behaviour” is not whether the Respondent’s behaviour is unreasonable in itself, but whether the effect of it is such that the Petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to continue living with them. This means that lack of affection, not contributing to household chores, frivolous spending, differences in religious or political belief, working long hours or refusing to work can all qualify as “unreasonable behaviour” for the purposes of a divorce petition, as long as the Petitioner finds such behaviour genuinely intolerable to the extent that it has caused the marriage to break down.
A divorce petition of this type can usually be finalised within a few months - if both parties are agreed and there are no issues in respect of the matrimonial finances.
Please note that divorces are now process through regional divorce centres and the petition would need to be sent to your local centre. You can check online with HMCTS for your local court and this should detail where the divorce petition should now be sent.
You can obtain a divorce just through solicitors letters. If your wife did petition for divorce and you didn't respond then your wife would have you personally served with the court papers. If you still didn't respond then your wife could continue to get decree absolute without needing any further input from you.
If you are agreed in relation to the matrimonial finances the you should look to agree a clean break agreement - which you should submit to the court for its approval when applying for decree absolute. Not doing this could leave you open for a future claim in respect of the matrimonial finances.
Kind Regards
Caroline
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ukfamilysolicitor, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 744
Experience: Divorce, Finances, Children, Domestic Violence, Care Proceedings
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Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Hello
Just noticed a typo in one of my sentences - should have read
You CANNOT obtain divorce just through solicitors letters
Kind Regards
Caroline
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply and identifying the typo. But I am still a little confused. You mentioned that it is not possible to obtain divorce just on the basis of the solicitor's letters. Are you saying that in order to obtain divorce, the solicitor would still have to file for divorce through the courts regardless of whether or not the solicitor sends out any letters to the Respondent on request of the petitioner?Also, could you please SIMPLIFY the below two paragraphs which you had written to me as:"If your wife did petition for divorce and you didn't respond then your wife would have you personally served with the court papers. If you still didn't respond then your wife could continue to get decree absolute without needing any further input from you.If you are agreed in relation to the matrimonial finances the you should look to agree a clean break agreement - which you should submit to the court for its approval when applying for decree absolute. Not doing this could leave you open for a future claim in respect of the matrimonial finances".Where you mentioned that that if I did not respond then my wife would have me personally served with the court papers. Which court papers are you referring to, is it the D8 divorce form papers or the letters from the court that would be asking me to respond or challenge the divorce petition that would have been filed by my wife?Lastly, is it possible to obtain a 'quickie divorce' well before the expected TWO YEAR OF LIVING APART rule even takes place even if there are no 6 or 7 reasons under the unreasonable behaviour?Me and my wife have not lived apart for 2 years but are still currently living together in the same house, and my wife is approaching her solicitor for a fast track or quickie divorce whilst there no 5 or 6 reasons under the Unreasonable Behaviour other than probably one or two reasons such as that I am not showing too much affectionate towards my wife (and that's only because of her bad attitude and poor personality since for last 4 years but I am still doing the basics like taking care of her other needs such as providing for the house like bills and food and buying medicines if she's ill or doing other things she wants me to do like shopping etc and even having physical relationship when possible or when she desires), therefore can my wife still file for divorce at the court using D8 form with the help of her solicitor in the mean time or would my wife have to wait for at least 2 years (once we start to live separately) before she can petition for divorce from the court?Why do you think my wife is saying that when her solicitor sends me a letter to sign it (regarding divorce matter)s, and that if I do not sign it after receiving the letter 3 times from her solicitor then the divorce will automatically take place? Is my wife trying to say that if I do not sign the solicitor's letters at any stag then her solicitor will then apply directly to the court for Decree Absolute and that the court will grant my wife the Decree Absolute regardless of whether we have lived apart for 2 years?
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Hello
Yes - 'quickie divorce' that being a divorce on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour can be applied for at any point after you have been married for 1 year.
The papers your wife would seek to serve on you - should you not respond - would be the divorce petition form and the acknowledgment of service form.
I think your wife has become a little confused in relation to the process if you don't respond. Of you don't respond then you would need to be served with the papers. If you still don't respond - then your wife can apply for decree nisi telling the court that you have been personally served with the papers.
Kind Regards
Caroline
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
please explain to me what is Acknowledgement of Service form?
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Hello
This is the form that court send to you when they issue the divorce petition. This is the form that you complete to confirm whether you agree with divorce continuing or if you want to defend the same.
Kind Regards
Caroline
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply, I appreciate it.My wife has instructed her solicitor to send a letter for me and one for herself regarding petitioning for a divorce or quickie divorce and her solicitor has sent them to us both but at different addresses. I have been staying for several nights at my sister's house only during night times due to my sister's husband being away and whilst I was staying at my sister's house, behind my back my wife told her solicitor to send the letter for me at my sister's address claiming that I have left home and now living at a different address - which is simply not true as I have of course been returning home every few days especially during day times where me and my wife reside (but wife would be at work during day times) and I am even now staying the night at my own house on 2 October 2015 and I have not even stopped living at my original address and neither have I stopped living with my wife although there are still ups and downs as usual. I am back in my own house and still living with my wife.I understand I had mentioned in the above paragraph that "even I too am not happy in this marriage due to wife's poor behavior towards me and that I too am looking or thinking about probably want to end this marriage or come out of this marriage" but in saying so I don't or didn't mean I want to end this marriage right away or all of a sudden without a proper talk with wife, but rather when I say I am looking at ending or coming out of this marriage, I mean to say I am just thinking about it (in the thinking process and/or that it makes me think and feel this way) especially when things are going really bad with our relationship.Anyways now that I am back in my own house and now that my wife's solicitor has already sent me and my wife a divorce letters because my wife told her solicitor to do so whilst me and my wife have not even had a proper sit-down and talk these things through, I want to therefore contact or email her solicitor and just tell them that whatever my wife has told them like I've moved out and no longer living here and all sorts that most of these claims are not even true and that I do not want her solicitor to send me any further letters and neither do I want to respond to these divorce related letters "especially not at this moment anyways" and to just put an end to this misery of solicitors sending me further letters of any sorts.Do you think I should contact or email my wife's solicitor and do just that as mentioned above?
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Hello

It seems wise to make sure that your wife's solicitor has the correct address to write to you.

If you wife does issue divorce proceedings and you want to contest - fill in the acknowledgment of service form and return it within 8 days. Fill in the part that says you’re defending the divorce.

After you return the form, you have up to 21 days to say why you are defending the divorce. This is called ‘giving an answer’.

To do this, fill in the answer to a divorce petition.

You may have to pay a £245 court fee.

You have to abide by the strict timescales.

Contested divorces can be expensive and if you take this approach then you should consider instructing legal representation.

Kind Regards

Caroline

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