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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34236
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I have been separated from my wife nearly 30 years

Resolved Question:

I have been separated from my wife for very nearly 30 years and have never divorced. I have been living with my current partner for the same amount of time.
I have not had any contact at all with my wife during this time or my two children from this marrage. I do however continue to pay £50 a month support to her which has simply become an ongoing process.
I am now at retirement age and looking to the future and the impact this may have on any pension rights in the event of my death, which I had hoped would pass to my current partner.
I have in the past avoided the subject of divorce as I had been happier avoiding any further contact with her. I am now in a position where I would like to divorce but unsure how to proceed and what the implications this might have financially or other wise.
Any advice would be welcome.
Kind regards
Mike
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Do you know where she lives and do you have a copy of the marriage certificate?
Were the finances agreed between you when you separated
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi
I do not know where she lives, in Devon somewhere but have had not contact with her for almost 30 years. I do not have a copy of the marriage certificate.
When we separated fiancé agreement was set in court which at the time was a set monthly amount of I think £130 a month which included £50 a month as support for her. The £80 a month that was allocated for support of the children ended when the CSA became involved and a new amount for the children set and that ended when the children turned 18, several years ago now.
The £50 payment has remained and has been continued to be paid by direct debit.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What proceedings led to the court Order - if there was no divorce was there a formal Judicial Separation?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I believe we went to court for a formal decision to be made regarding the payment of maintenance. I'm sorry this seems a bit vague but I find it hard to remember, I don't believe there was a formal judicial separation.
I had a solicitor myself and had to provide a statement of my finances to the court. When we went to court both my solicitor and hers were there. It was here that an order was made to pay maintenance. As far as I remember it was purely about the maintenance.
Mike
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What happened to the capital at the time?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
There was no capital. We had no savings, we were in rented accommodation. She had already moved back to her mothers and we went our separate ways.
Mike
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What is your capital position now?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have a house jointly owned with my partner and we have savings however the savings are in my partners name and if the house is at risk in any way this will be transferred to be in her name also.
Mike
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
It will not be a great problem to obtain a copy of your Marriage Certificate from the Registrar and an enquiry agent will be able to find an address for your ex.
That being the case you can issue a Petition based on the fact that you have lived apart for more than five years.
Even if she does not respond to it you will only need to arrange for Personal Service to ensure that the divorce happens
You can read more here
https://www.gov.uk/divorce/file-for-divorce
There is a risk that she will make a financial claim on you - and transferring the house into your partners name will not protect that.
HOWEVER - you will not be forced to sell your home there is no risk of that at all
It is your pension and any savings that could potentially be at risk
Of course if she is a millionairess you may wish to make a claim of your own!
Please ask if you need further details - there is no charge for follow ups!
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your help. My other main worry is because we are not divorced, if anything should happen to I would want everything to go to my current partner, would my wife have any financial claim or would a Will be sufficient.
Mike
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Please make sure that you make a Will - otherwise it is your Widow who deals with your funeral and inherits the bulk of your estate
Assuming that you have made a Will then your ex would still technically have a claim - especially as the £50 a month will stop.
However any claim she has will be limited - and assuming that the property you own is held as beneficial Joint Tenants then it will pass to your partner outside of the Will in any event
Clare
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