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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34896
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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After 27 years married to my husband (with two children now

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After 27 years married to my husband (with two children now 17 and 20) we separeted due to his behaviour (gambling, drinking, depression, violent mood swings I got used but in 2014 he shamelessly was flaunting other women and I could take no more). It was a very messy separation - he moved out as he said he had met someone and I would not let him back in the house when he decided he wanted to come back as he would turn up drunk and abusive in the middle of the night. We had four months of this and Police were called several times - he was arrested and had three court cases for threatening behaviour, threats to kill and assaulting police officers. The only way this stopped was when I bought him out of the house we shared and he got his money and left the country. Initially he went back to Scotland for a few weeks and I saw a solicitor and got divorce papers sent to him - he did not sign or return them. I then heard he had moved to Spain and again I found the address and spent money sending the divorce papers for him to sign - again he did not sign or return them. He has no contact with his children and does not pay any money and left lots of debt for me and his own personal credit card debts that I have several bailiffs visits about. I am not looking for any money or anything from him, I just want a divorce. I have now found out (via Facebook) that, nearly two years on, he is living in the Philippines with some woman who claims they re engaged (she has taken his surname) and there is a baby on the way! How can I get a divorce if he will not sign papers - do I have to wait five years for abandonment or, given the circumstances and his numerous arrests for threats to kill etc in 2014 towards me and the children can I get a divorce sooner for abusive behaviour? Any advice would be greatly received as I just want to be divorced so I can move on with my life. My children also have no contact with him since last year and now they have found out about this baby on the way they don't want anything to do with him. I look forward to hearing from you. Kind regards. Carolyn
HiThank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** do my best to help you but I need some further information first.Which part of the Uk are you in - and do you have his facebook address
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am in London. He had several Facebook accounts under different names but he doesn't use them any more but my sister (who has been doing some digging) has managed to find his "partner's" facebook and she is the one who has the posts re "engaged", "baby on the way" etc. Unfortunately I am not on facebook so I can't access myself but I have kept all the screen shots.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He is also in the photos she posts so it is not like it could be someone else - it is definitely him.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have not heard anything from you - is there any further update in answer to my question?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello - would anyone be able to please get back to me with an answer to my original questions?
My apologies for the delay I have had access problems.Just to check - you have an existing petition based on his Unreasonable Behaviour - is that correct?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My original solicitor advised me not to go down this route as he may have contested it so she prepared the divorce papers based on "divorce on the ground that the marriage has broken down irretrievably" - papers were drafted and sent to him to sign but I did not get much further as he did not sign and return the papers. Again solicitor said there is nothing I can do (except pay a lot of money to get him served with the papers overseas) so everything just stopped but as it is now coming up for two years I am keen to get the process started/finalised.
A specific ground must have been used and I suspect it must have been behaviour - do you still have a copy of the Petition?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes - I have a copy - is there a way to send it to you?
Just looking at Section 5 - what does it say?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Part 5 The fact(s)See the supporting notes for guidance on how to complete this sectionI apply for a
X divorce on the ground that the marriage has broken down irretrievably, or dissolution on the ground that the civil partnership has broken down irretrievably, or
(judicial) separationand
I rely on the following fact(s) in support of my application:X The Respondent has behaved in such a way that the Petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the Respondent
Right - it was based on his Unreasonable Behaviour so that is fine.You can now apply for permission for the divorce to go ahead by asking the court to dispense with service of the petition on your exThe form is here can then go ahead and complete your divorce immediatelyI hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further detailsClare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for this information - I have looked at the form and feel I can complete this with the relevant back-up information but I have a couple of queries?
1) where do I send the form once completed - is it to a solicitor or to a Court?
2) is there a specific Court I need to send the form to? do I send it off with a "fee"?
3) once I send off the form do I just wait to hear back from the Court - does this takes weeks/months to hear from them?
4) I am presuming that once the form is acknowledged by the Court to "prove" that he is no longer around or contactable then I send off my original divorce petition forms to the Court and they take it from there?
5) what happens next?
Many thanks
Hi CarolynYes you should have no problems with it!1. It goes to the Court2. The Court which issued the Petition3. You wait to hear from the Court if they will make the Order or not - maybe between 4-8 weeks depending on the Court4. If they Court grants the applictaion then you g ahead and apply for the Decree Nisi based on the Petition you issued beforeClare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for this. My concern is that I don't think it went as far as the petition being sent to Court in the first place. The solicitor prepared the draft divorce petition which she send to my husband for him to agree and sign - and it was at this point when he refused to sign anything. Therefore if the solicitor had just prepared the "draft" would it already have been sent to the Court? I would presume not. This is where I am stuck as (as far as I am aware) nothing has gone to Court as yet. Should I fill in the form with supporting docs/evident and then just find my nearest Court that deals with Divorce and sent all the information off to them? I look forward to hearing from you. Best Carolyn
OkThat is a bit differentDid she send you anything at all with a court number
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No nothing with a Court number unfortunately - can I still fill in form and sent off to a local Court given that it will over two years since the solicitor prepared the draft petition?
Sadly it will take a little more than that - but not too much more!You will need to prepare a new Petition based in his Unreasonable Behaviour (or you can use the one already drafted) and you will need to send that in triplicate to the court together with the form above and the fee to your local family court
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you so:
1) I will complete the form and gather the supporting/evidence documentation I have
2) I will get the "draft" divorce petition that was prepared by the solicitor
3) I will send all off to the local Court - with a covering letter
4) What do you mean when you say "you will need to send off in triplicate"?
5) I live in London W3 9HN - where is my local Court - it is really not clear when I google to try and find out?
6) How would I know what the fee is - and once I know this - do I just send off a cheque with the documents?
Many thanks
Start with the Petition - you need to have that first.Check that it is still accurate (the forms have changed in the last few years) sign and date it and have three copies made.Complete the form about service. No need to send any supporting evidence - just make sure all the details are on the form correctly.Take two copies of thatSend the Petition plus two copies and the Service form plus one copy to your local family court which is shown here with the fee of £410
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you