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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 26822
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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Please can you tell me if a divorce petition can be served

Customer Question

Hi. Please can you tell me if a divorce petition can be served from the UK to another country?
JA: What are the assets involved here? Are there any minor children?
Customer: No children. Only asset is the villa in Spain we jointly own, and where my wife now lives.
JA: Were any marital funds used for the mortgage or property improvements?
Customer: It was bought jointly, so I think yes.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I have no home of my own in the UK and am living temporarily with a relative.
Submitted: 16 days ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 16 days ago.

Hello. My name is***** you for the question.

It is my pleasure to assist you today.

I have been in the legal profession, in High Street practice, for almost 30 years so I have wide range of experience in a great many different aspects of law.

Please bear with me and I will be online and off-line from time to time and therefore, may be delayed getting back to you.

Although I am shown as online, I may be dealing with other people, on the telephone, or typing.

Please be assured that you will receive an email once I have written a reply.

Just Answer is not a chat service, it’s an email reply board and therefore sometimes it will be minutes, sometimes it may be longer, even hours or overnight.

I apologise in advance if you suffer a delay.

Kind regards.

Expert:  Stuart J replied 16 days ago.

For background - how long were you together and married in total?

and you mention there are no assets apart from property in Spain - what about pensions?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Thanks. Married 20 years, together for 3 years before that. Yes, I have a company and state pension. My wife does not have a company pension, but presumably has a state pension as she has worked occasionally.
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Also, does the property in Spain need to be sold and the assets from it shared before the divorce can be granted?
Expert:  Stuart J replied 16 days ago.

From 6 April 2022, in the UK we now have “no fault” divorce where there is no need to apportion blame.

Provided that at least one of the people wishing to get divorced lives in England, then getting divorced in England (& Wales) is infinitely a do-it-yourself job. (I am not familiar with the system in Scotland)

Save yourself a whole load of money: the government website have a do-it-yourself guide

https://www.gov.uk/divorce

Although you can agree finances between you, it doesn’t draw a line under it unless you have a financial order

https://www.gov.uk/money-property-when-relationship-ends

And if have children under 18, and you cannot agree who they live with and who sees who and when, then you need a child arrangement order (which includes Specific Issue Orders:

To confirm that something can happen

and a Prohibited Steps Orders

To stop something happening

https://www.gov.uk/looking-after-children-divorce

It doesn’t matter who divorces who or why, the financial issues are exactly the same. The court has not apportioned blame with regard to the division of marital finances for many years.

The only grounds for getting divorced used to be (all now changed of course)

1 Living apart from 2 years if they both agree.

2 living apart the 5 years regardless of consent.

3 Desertion

4 Adultery.

5 Unreasonable behaviour.

Please note that a legal separation is not the first step or precursor to a divorce. It is virtually the same process but it doesn't dissolve the marriage. However it draws a line under the relationship formally. The difference between a legal separation and divorce is basically that you cannot get remarried again. The reason you would have a legal separation, rather than a divorce is you can get divorced, for religious reasons for example.

From 6 April, the divorce petition form D8 has changed and here it is:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1064336/D8_0422_save.pdf

It is the same form to dissolve a civil partnership.

You need to bear in mind that this process is brand-new for the time being and were not certain how it’s going to work.

The majority of the form is just filling in personal details and as they are the details that you would have to give to a solicitor, to be frank, you may as well complete the form yourself and save a whole load of money.

There is nothing difficult in the form and although it’s 20 pages, it is not crammed with questions. You can complete it in about 15 minutes.

At present to the court fee is GBP595.

The full list of court fees are here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fees-in-the-civil-and-family-courts-main-fees-ex50

there is very little legal aid available now except in very few categories but if you are on benefits or low-income, you may get help with or not have to pay the fees. Details are here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apply-for-help-with-court-and-tribunal-fees

And the fee remission is referred to on page 19 of the form.

Be careful with the addresses. If you are not having fee remission goes to the Bury St Edmunds address along with the cheque, on the back page of the form.

If you are applying for fee remission goes to the Harlow address.

At least, that’s how I interpret page 20. It remains to be seen because that page is extremely vague

An application for a financial order goes to your local court.

So there is no problem in serving documentation in another country provided one of your lives in the UK.

UK financial order can deal with the Spanish property.

You can sell the property in Spain and divide the assets whenever you like.

Thank you for letting me assist you with your legal question. I am glad that I was able to help.

I am not certain whether that answers the question for you or not, but I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

It will be my pleasure to help you again either further with this or any future questions you have

Kind regards

Stuart

Expert:  Stuart J replied 15 days ago.

Can I help you any further with this?

It's my pleasure to help. I’m glad that I was able to help so far.

Thank you for trusting Just Answer with your legal problem.

I'm happy to clarify anything which is outstanding.

Please don't hesitate to ask.

Kind regards

Stuart

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Thank you. That's all for now.
Expert:  Stuart J replied 15 days ago.

Thank you.

If you don’t have any further questions, I will mark this question thread as complete for now, but don’t worry, the thread stays open if anything else crops up over the course of the next days weeks or months.

I’m glad that I was able to help.

Thank you for trusting Just Answer with your legal problem.

Kind regards

Stuart