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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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My husband has left me younger woman I do not own my

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My husband has left me for a younger woman I do not own my property and the children are all over 18 what should be my next step to start divorce be.We also got married in srilanka I am disabled and live on benefit in council property
Hello and thanks for your question.

I need a bit more information to be able to answer:

Are you British?
Is your husband British?
Is your marriage recognised as a valid marriage in Sri Lanka?
Have you lived in England or Wales for at least the last 12 months?
Has your husband lived in England or Wales for at least the last 12 months?
Is the tenancy of your council property in the joint names of you and your husband? If not, whose name is ***** *****?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
We are both British It is a valid marriage we both have lived in England all our lives our tenancy is joint
Hello again and thanks for the extra information. Sorry for the delay in replying.

That was just to confirm to me that the UK family court has the jurisdiction ( which means the ability) to deal with your divorce - and it does. The jurisdiction will be based on the fact that you have both lived in the UK for the last 12 months ie you are both habitually resident in the UK.

If your husband will admit to his adultery on the acknowledgement of service form, you can base your petition on the fact of his adultery (it's too difficult and expensive to "prove" adultery, therefore it needs to go on his admission). Otherwise, base your petition on the fact of his behaviour ie "he has a friendship with a woman that is inappropriate for a married man" . If basing your petition on your husband's behaviour do NOT say he has committed adultery - if you mix up two grounds on the petition, the court will return your petition to you.

The divorce will take about 6 months (maybe less - it varies from one court to another) from the moment that the court office receives the petition until the decree absolute is granted.

Whatever you base your petition on, the court will need proof that your husband has received the petition. ie proof of service. This is either by him completing and signing the acknowledgment form that is sent to him with the divorce petition by the court. If he refuses to do that, then after 14 days after the petition was posted to him by the court, you can apply to the court bailiff to serve the papers on him - then he will not need to sign anything as the bailiff will confirm to the court that your husband has received the papers. ie proof of service.

Without proof of service, your divorce won't be able to proceed.

The procedure is as follows:

1. File your divorce petition at court with 2 copies plus court fee of £410 - or an application for fee remission as you are on benefits - plus a certified copy of marriage certificate (if lost, you can get another copy from the registry office where your marriage was registered).

Here's where to find details of how to apply for fee remission, and the booklet includes the application form:

2. The court sends one sealed copy of the divorce petition plus acknowledgement of service form to your husband, one sealed copy back to you, & keeps one copy on the court file.

3. Your husband completes & returns the acknowledgement of service form back to court.

4. The court sends you a copy of the acknowledgement of service form. You can then apply for the decree nisi. The court will set a date for the decree nisi to be pronounced at court. If all is agreed, no need for either of you to attend court.

5. 6 weeks and 1 day after the date of the decree nisi, you can apply for the decree absolute.

Here's the blank divorce petition to start you off:

As the children are adults, no court order will be needed as far as they are concerned.

With regard to getting the tenancy of your council property into your sole name, without a court order, it will depend on the policy of the particular local authority. If your husband has left, and you are still living at the flat (especially if the children are still living there too), and you have the decree absolute, then the local authoity may agree to transfer the tenancy into your sole nname - or they may require your husband's signed consent - or they may require a court order - but even with a court order, if the property is deemed too large for your needs, the local authority may be allowed to ask you to move to smaller accommodation or reduce the level of your housing benefit. Getting your husband's signed consent to transfer the tenancy would be the simplest option. Applying to court is stressful, time-consuming and expensive and there is no longer any legal aid for this type of application to court, so an alternative would be to try mediation if your husband won't agree - the family court anyway now requires that the oarties attempt mediation before applying to court. Here's where to find a family mediation service near you:

If you would like some face-to-face legal advice from a specialist family law solicitor, here's where to find one:

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

Thanks and best wishes....
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