How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Stuart J Your Own Question
Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 26846
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
11292137
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Stuart J is online now

How can I carry on the divorce process if I can not reach my

This answer was rated:

How can I carry on the divorce process if I can not reach my husband in any of the ways?

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.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Hi again , sorry , it’s a bit complicated

How long have you been apart?

and you have no idea where he might be?

how long were you together and married in total?

any property in his name?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
We’ve been married for 10 years , and separated for half of year . The house is under his name but I paid the deposit of 100.000. I also lent 55.000to him . He promised to pay me back but not seems happening. I keep sending the letters to the his work place , but there is no response.
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
I would like to get everything clear on the money and divorce him . How can I carry on this process?

If you don’t know where your spouse is, then provided you have made attempts to contact him, there is a process for doing that where the service of documents is dispensed with:

the government to the rescue again with a website on that subject: https://www.gov.uk/divorce-missing-husband-wife

If you know where your spouse is but he won’t sign the papers, then you can make an application court for Deemed Service of the papers provided you can prove he’s had them and is just ignoring them.

Here is an article on the subject:

https://www.ellisjones.co.uk/blog/article/what-to-do-when-your-spouse-refuses-to-sign-the-divorce-papers

In order to make attempts to contact him you would need to put a notice in the London Gazette, local newspaper and also come up with a report from a tracing agent which said they couldn’t find him:

You can always use a tracing agent such as this http://www.ccsformations.co.uk/Tracing-25-c.html who will do no find no fee for solicitors for GBP50 plus VAT although if you are a private individual they want payment upfront.

They also do international searches for GBP150 plus VAT but that is not no win no fee.

We have used the firm on numerous occasions and found the service excellent.

There is another one called Find UK People who I have had clients use, but I have no experience of them myself.

https://www.findukpeople.com/blog/people-finder-uk/

they provide a whole load of different services. https://www.findukpeople.com/online-store/

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.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
thank you so much for your advise. I truly appreciate it . I was crying before I reach you. I felt so helpless and venerable, thank you for your professional advices ,That really helps a lot. I do also have another concern. As he has already transferred all his money through business to abroad. ( as payment to a business ) He claims that he has no asset under his name , and he would like to take half of the money under my name. What should I do to protect my interest ? I lent him 155.000 and he wrote me a promissory note that says he will pay me back . But it is not seems like a valid form of a promissory note . What should I do with those money ? Thank you .

Well that’s nice to know. Thank you for telling me. I am really glad to have helped.

The promissory note is good evidence that there was an agreement between you that he would give you some money so it’s not as worthless as you might think.

You are going to need a financial order to draw a line under the finances and to basically order who gets what.

The courts will not get involved in marital finances unless divorce or legal separation proceedings have started.

Remember that the divorce itself is not that expensive, if you use solicitors, it is arguing over money and children which costs the big bucks.

And here is some reading on applying for a financial order.

https://www.lawteacher.net/cases/financial-matters-on-divorce.php

Which draws a line under the finances of the marriage and prevents either of you coming back to the other, in some years time, asking for more money if circumstances have changed (the lottery?).

That’s what happened here when the spouse popped out of the woodwork years after the divorce, when there was no financial order.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3634949/Victory-hippy-millionaire-s-unemployed-ex-wife-wins-500-000-share-fortune-money-decade-broke-up.html

and here

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1331925/Lottery-winner-Nigel-Page-pay-ex-wife-2m-left-10-years-ago.html

You can agree what you like between you, then it really is a case of putting the application into the court and the judge will rubberstamp the arrangements you have agreed. Otherwise it’s a potentially expensive argument.

Here are some notes from the government

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/i-want-to-apply-for-a-financial-order-d190

On applying for a financial order

This is the form you need to start the process: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/885814/form-a-eng.pdf

And how you go on from there depends on whether you agree with what is happening with the finance or whether you are going to have an argument.

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

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** have a look at the links you sent . I really appreciate that. I am not local and English is not my first language. It is very challenging for me to get everything clear , and your information just give me a clue of what should do first . Thank you . Does it mean if I have the financial order , he can not argue over the money that under my name anymore ?

As part of the application for a financial order process, you both have to disclose all your finances but once there is a final order, whatever it is, that’s it written in stone if it is a clean break.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
does it mean I still can’t protect the money under my account. I need to split with him by going through the solicitors ? Is there anyway I can do I advance to protect the money I have ? As far as I know , he has already cleared his bank account , one year ago. Is that traceable ? If not , he is in title of half of the money that I have in my account ? Thanks

In respect of him clearing his bank account, ask for the statements going back 3 years. If you won’t disclose them, ask the court to order it.

It’s not a case of protecting the money that you have, it’s a case of getting what you are entitled to which may be all of your money and some of his or vice versa

Stuart J and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you