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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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I filed in 2013 but my wife ignored my petition, despite my

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Hi, I filed for divorce in 2013 but my wife ignored my petition, despite my numerous attempts to reach a settlement with her. I filed for the divorce petition myself and did not hire a solicitor. For three years, I did not hear from her (and was even unable to get her address, as she took our children without my permission and did not want to disclose her location).
Just today, she got in touch with me asking for my address so she can re-start the divorce proceedings. She even admitted to blatantly ignoring my petition and blaming me for not pursuing it. As a result, she claims that my divorce petition was already dismissed even though I did not file for a dismissal nor did I receive notice from the courts about a dismissal.
My question is, can a petition be dismissed singlehandedly, without my knowledge? If so, what are the grounds for dismissal? I would prefer her to respond to the original petition, instead of her filing her own divorce petition. What would be the best way to approach this so I can finally see and talk to my children again?

Hi, thank you for your question. A divorce application can only be withdrawn if you both agree to it and inform the court. It would therefore remain live with the court if this has not happened. In the circumstances I would suggest that you contact the relevant court and quote your case number ***** they will inform you what stage it has reached. If she has acknowledged receipt then you can apply for Decree Nisi. If she has not, then you can make an application for deemed service and explain in your statement what facts you have to show the court that she has received the petition (for example dates and times of discussions you had with her and text messages specifically about the petition). The fee for a deemed service application is £50.

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