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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33283
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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I require some divorce proceedings advice; I got married

Customer Question

Hello,
I require some divorce proceedings advice;
I got married abroad over 10 years ago. My marriage certificate got destroyed (and I am struggling to obtain a duplicate). I now wish to file for divorce, my husband and I are estranged and I have had no contact with him for 6-7 years. Can you please advise me on what I can do going forward?
Thanks
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first

Where were you married?

What steps have you taken to trace your ex?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thanks Clare,
I got married in Jamaica. A few years ago I attempted to trace his whereabouts via HMRC and Barclays Bank to no avail. He was a contractor and unemployed when we separated.None of our mutual friends have heard from him. Any suggestions?
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

Have you ordered a replacement certificate?

Have you used an Enquiry Agent to trace him (usual cost about £100)

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I have tried to contact the registry office in Jamaica but no one has got back to me.I have not used an enquiry agent as I was previously advised, since my husband has been gone for 5 years I would not need to locate him; is this incorrect?
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

TO get a copy of the marriage certificate you need to fill in this form

http://apps2.rgd.gov.jm/web/Marriage/lay_marriageApplication.cfm

you can find out the mname of the Marriage Officer using the link here

https://www.rgd.gov.jm/index.php/application-forms

Once you have the certificate you can complete the Petition based on the five year separation

Details here

https://www.gov.uk/divorce/file-for-divorce

You can also apply to dispense with Service on your ex using the form here

http://www.jordanpublishing.co.uk/system/redactor_assets/documents/777/D13B.pdf

It would be sensible to instruct an enquiry agent as it shows the court you have tried your best to trace him

I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thank you so much Clare, I will do so. If the agent is able to trace him can I still initiate the divorce without having to make contact with him?
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

Absolutely - but do then spend another £90 and get the Enquiry Agent to personally serve the paperwork on him!

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** a way I can contact you directly?
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

Sadly we are not allowed contact outside of the site - but If you ask for me in your question I will always respond when I see it!

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Wonderful! Thanks
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

You are most welcome - I hope all goes well

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hello Clare,I need more advice? Do I have to start this process again?
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

What would you like to ask about?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
having taken your advice, I got the shock of my life last night when my estranged husband turned up on my doorstep. As mentioned we have had no contact for almost 7 years. He has stated he will agree to a divorce but I do not trust his timing or motives.I have a feeling he's going to attempt to make claims on my property, can this be avoided? The flat is in my name and he has never contributed a penny.
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

Has he given you his address?

When did you buy the property?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
He was very vague and only took my number (wouldn't give his current address and conveniently could not remember his own number).I will have to double check but I'm sure I bought the flat in 2006-2007 but he was not in the country. Due to visa implications he remained in Jamaica 2 years after we got married
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

How long did you live together in total?

Were your finances ever joint?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
We lived together for about a year after he arrived from Jamaica and we never had any joint finances; I paid for everything. We had separate bank accounts also
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

When was that?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
We got married in 2005 and he arrived in the UK in 2007. I will have to double check the date I purchased the flat but I'm sure it was prior to the marriage.We were together until 2008 (possibly Jan 2009) and then he left.
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

How much is the flat worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I believe it is worth £200,000 and £135,000 owed
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

Any other assets?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
No, the flat is all I have. I have yet to hear from him again so I hope he's not messing me about as I really want to finally end this nonsense and farce of a marriage
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

I am sure that he will mess you about I am afraid - but hopefully he can be traced so that the divorce goes ahead.

technically he does have a potential claim on what was the former matrimonial home, but it only a relatively modest one given the circumstances (may be 5% or 10% of the equity at most)

and even then he will have a hard time justifying that in all the circmnstances

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thanks for the advice Clare, I truly appreciate it. Do you think it's best to wait or should I just initiate proceedings myself?
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

Start the divorce as soon as you can!

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thanks, ***** *****'t happen to know a reputable solicitor I could use? Unfortunately I have had some bad experiences with solicitors and this matter in the past.As I know he is still in the country, I will definitely use the agent to locate an address.
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

No need for a solicitor at this stage - you can do this yourself!

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Wonderful, I willThanks again
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

Good luck I hope all goes well

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