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UKfamsol, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 560
Experience:  Very experienced specialist family law solicitor, qualifed in 1994
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I have filed for divorce and wrote the petition statement with

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I have filed for divorce and wrote the petition statement with my husband's agreement, but when he was served the notice nearly 8 weeks ago, he is refusing to sign and not getting in touch.
- he lives abroad
- we have two children (5 & 7)
- we agreed on shared custody in a statement attached with the petition
- we have been separated for 21 months
- he last been in touch with his kids on 12th April 2014, so that is 7 weeks ago

what are my options of getting a divorce without his signature? I have evidence of adultly which I have not based my petition on initially out of respect, should I re-apply changing the basis?

Please help me, as I have been struggling to find my rights. I have the children to look after and need to move on with my life, which is being impossible in this situation.

Hello and thanks for your question.

I need some more information to be able to answer:

Do you have your husband's current address?
When you say he was served 8 weeks ago, how was he served?
Which country is he living in now?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
- i do have his fathers address where to the last I know he was living.
- he is Spanish national living currently in the UAE., as far as I know without residency which means he has to leave the country every three months.
- when we agreed on divorce he provided a p.o. Box postal address belongs to an old organisation his father used to work with so they can direct their mail there, I sent him the papers that the court sent to me and I forwarded them by signed for serivice, but as it's not relaible system he got it after nearly 3 weeks. I have the postal receipt though and the proof that he received it.
-I have his mobile number which he doesn't pick up, so I leave msgs with his elderly father and assume he gets them. But with no response what so ever.
- might be usful to mention that me and the kids are British. Nationals .

Hello and thanks for the information.
There's no need to amend the divorce petition, because you will have the same problems with proof of service. Also, don't use adultery anyway, unless you are absolutely sure that your husband would admit to the adultery, because proving it is very difficult and expensive. If the receipt that you mention has your husband's signature, AND the receipt makes it clear that it's a receipt for the divorce papers, you could use that, to prove to the court that he has received the papers.

Otherwise, you need to get him served personally by a process server, (ie someone who actually hands the papers to your husband) who will then sign a statement of service stating that he served your husband on a given date, and exactly what papers he served on him. The court will accept the process server's statement of service as proof that your husband has received the divorce papers, so then your divorce can go on to the next stage.

The process servers that I use are Stephensons Investigations, and their website is :-

They have contacts all round the world – and if they don't have a contact is UAE, they will probably be able to advise you of someone that does.

I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck.

Thanks and best wishes...

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I would love to rate it he service as good at least although my question wasn't about serving him the papers!
Even if someone serves him the papers personally he still would not sign them because he obviously changed his mind!
What about being separted for nearly two years, doesn't that get me automatic divorce?
Sorry - I didn't make myself clear. If a process server serves the divorce papers on your husband by handing them to him, then your husband does NOT need to sign anything. The court just wants clear proof that he has received the papers, and a statement of service from a process server will give the court that.

If you have been separated for two years AND your husband consents,(consent is an integral part of that particular ground for divorce) then you can amend your divorce petition - but a) there is another court fee to amend a petition b) you would still have to serve the papers on him and c) your husband would have to give his signed consent to a divorce based on two years separation - so no, sorry, no automatic divorce that route either!

I do hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck.

Thanks and best wishes...

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