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Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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Im an Irishman now living in Ireland (Irish born). Previously

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Hi... Im an Irishman now living in Ireland (Irish born). Previously lived in UK for past 30 yrs. My wife still lives in UK. I want to divorce her...but she will contest divorce...she has said so! (Her behaviour is reason I want a divorce).
I have downloaded all the revelant UK Court papers online, to apply for divorce myself, as advised by my previous UK solicitor. (as my funds are limited to engage a solicitor). What happens when she will contest my petition to divorce? Will I still be granted my divorce?
Thank you kindly,
Hi, thank you for your question. I am a qualified family law solicitor.
How long have you been separated from her? Just checking to see as if it has been five years or more it will be more straightforward to apply under that fact than unreasonable behaviour.
If it has not been five years or more, you can apply under unreasonable behaviour stating out your case. Your wife will be served with an Acknowledgement of Service form by the Court asking her to confirm receipt of the petition and other questions including whether she wishes to defend the divorce. If she confirms that she wishes to defend the divorce, she will then need to file her defence, after which the divorce will be listed for a trial.
To be honest, defending a divorce is very rare and not productive as you will both incur unnecessary legal fees.
I would suggest that if you do apply under unreasonable behaviour that you attempt to keep the statement of case as neutral as possible to prevent her taking offence and deciding to defend the divorce.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi thank you very much.
I have left my wife since June 2015 I had previously started divorce proceedings in 2013...but foolishly I withdrew papers and returned to her for 12 months approx...before leaving again as stated .... Sorry I know its not straight forward but I know she will she will refuse to accept its over...
What is proceedure if and when a court bailiff serves necessary long do I wait...and what is the next step?
Thanks for the clarification. Has the Court confirmed that your previous petition has been withdrawn?
If it has been and you are pursuing fresh proceedings, once the petition is issued the Court will post a copy to her and she will need to respond within 14 days. I would therefore suggest you wait about a month after it is issued to see if she acknowledges service, after which you can consider whether to instruct a court bailiff to personally serve her (this will incur a court fee of £110).
Another option would be if she has received the petition and she is purposefully not responding you can file an application for deemed service under form D11 setting out details of how you are aware that she has received the petition (for example if she has called you confirming this) - this application has a court fee of £50. Once submitted the court will decide based on your application whether they are happy that she has been served and authorise you to continue to the next stage (application for Decree Nisi).
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok. Thank you very much. I think I understand the proceedure. I will fill and submitt my paperwork to the court. My original papers were not filed...with the court...I didnt hand them into the court office.As the petitioner for divorce, will I be required to attend court....whether or not she defends my petition?Thank you for your time and help.
If she does not defend the divorce then you will not need to attend Court. However, if she does defend and it proceeds to a trial then you will need to attend to give evidence.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you so much! Really helpful.
Wishing you a happy and peaceful day
Anthony (in Ireland)
Thank you, ***** ***** luck.