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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34885
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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The facts: My wife and I agreed to a trial separation on 8th

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The facts:
My wife and I agreed to a trial separation on 8th Mar 2012 and she left the marital home voluntarily agreeing that we meet in one year to review. I rented out the former matrimonial home on a 6 month short hold tenancy and went abroad. I did not return until the 11th Dec 2012. Post accumulated their whilst I was away and was collected by my daughter on the 3rd Dec 2012. Unbeknown to me it contained a divorce petition (D8), (D8[1]) & D1 issued by the court on 02 Oct 2012 whilst I was abroad. I did not return until 11th Dec 2012 and only read the content on 13th Dec 2012.

Clearly the seven days allowed to respond from the 02 October 2012 elapsed before I even saw the papers, let alone respond, and let alone again, the 29 days allowed to contest. Are these papers still valid in that I have been "served" or expired and as such will need to re-present a duplicate set of papers and duly serve them properly or does this constitute "every effort and a court may make an order dispensing with the need to effect service" ?
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You can simply reply to the papers that you have received now they are not time expired in any way.
If you do not then your ex will have to arrange personal service of the papers on you or show the court that she made sufficient effort to do so.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thanks for your prompt and courteous reply.
I am afraid I feel you have not really quite sufficiently answered my question.
I am grateful for confirmation that they are not time expired in anyway however, have they been "served"? Surely the fact that I have read them months later means defacto I have actually been "served", doesn't it? I can hardly lie; and who would reasonably expect me not to have read them in the intervening period?
So when you say "If you do not [reply sic] then your ex will have to arrange personal service of the papers on you or show the court that she made sufficient effort to do so" is surely irrelevant?
I sort of remain in limbo, I dont want to respond to these papers and would rather be served again but will she have to? I need to know whether what has transcribed would be sufficient to show the court that she has indeed "made every effort to do so" and so be in a position to make an order dispensing with the need to effect service?
thank you once again, Doug

My I ask why you wish her to have to arrange personal service on you thus risking a claim for costs?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Caire,

Surely if she has not "served" correctly and goes straight to court then it is me who has the claim that she has not followed the protocol and can claim costs?

One of my important thrusts is that I do not want divorce or the stigma of failure. The fact that after 40 years of marriage and a grandmother she seems unprepared to have realistic expectations for the rest of her life I don't understand. I think the legal period of two years separation is well founded; she has not even been on her own yet nor has a year passed. I am not emotionally ready to undertake significant changes that are going to affect my future and happiness at this moment. I still hope for reconciliation I strongly suspect I need another year and she may do too. I will contest, if she persists now. I am advocating we talk but she seems hell bent on confrontation and animosity. I did not want to get to this level of detail as it is somewhat superfluous. in essence I need and want more time to elapse.


Whilst you have indeed been served with the paperwork without evidence of this your ex cannot continue
If you continue to ignore the paperwork (as you are entitled to do) then your ex will simply need to instruct someone to personally serve the paperwork upon you.
Once that has been done she will be able to proceed even if you continue to take no action
The only way that you can prevent this is to defend the petition
Customer: replied 5 years ago.


Thank you I am going to rate your service excellent.

I will beg to ask a little more of you, even though I may not be entitled to it.

When I counter petition is it purely a paper exercise or a paper exercise supported with a personal hearing prior to the decree nisi?



P.S. Once again thank you; excellent service!


I am afraid that once the defence has been filed it is the beginning of a process which will involve at least two court appearances if not more
Clare and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

thank you and goodbye Claire

You are most welcome I hope all goes well