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ukfamilysolicitor, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor Currently specialising in Family. Also experienced in Corporate, Employment, Civil Litigation, Debt Recovery
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My husband has sent me a letter from a solicitor

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Hi. My husband has sent me a letter from a solicitor for a divorse. He is in Essex and I am at present in Gambia. Am I able to get a Solicitor while Im in the Gambia. He is sending me threatening emails. I need a good Solicitor asap who can act on my behalf. Can you help me please . Janet Gallimore
Thank you for your question.
May I ask:
1) Do you want to get divorced?
2) where there any assets to the marriage?
Kind Regards
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


There is really no reason for me to get divorced. I don't have any plans to marry in a hurry.

I married Kirk in Jamaica on 3rd November 1995 and I brought Kirk to England on 1st June 1996.

I mortgaged a flat in Tottenham before I married Kirk.

I brought Kirk to England from Jamaica in 1996

I sold my original flat and bought another flat in Tottenham and put the flat in joint names. I then remortgaged that flat and bought a condo in Jamaica in 2004. Kirk's name is ***** ***** the property in Jamaica.

Kirk never contributed to the mortgage on Reedham Close. He also never contributed to the service charges on Reedham Close or the apartment in Jamaica.

I have been paying for the mortgage and service charges on Reedham Close and all the Services Charges, Insurance and Bills in the Jamaican property.

Kirk commited adultery and left me on 1st January 2013.

I have a small pension and Kirk did not have a pension two years ago. But I think he now is contributing to a pension now.

Kirk and his girlfriend both work at the same place. Then have been living together since he left me.

I have not been working for the last couple of years. As i suffer from reoccuring depression.

I am living in Gambia since January 30th 2015.

I hope this information is what you require.

Do I have to respond to his Solicitor. Will I get charges. As he sent me an email saying I will be charged as I have not replied to his Solicitor.

I know he wants to definately wants to take the Jamaican property from me and I guess he wants to take the London flat too.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks Janet

Thanks Janet Gallimore

Thank you for your response. I note that you are no rush to get married.
As Kirk has issued divorce proceedings and you have not responded he now needs to have you served with the divorce papers to be able to carry on with the divorce. The cost that his Solicitor is referring to is the cost of getting the papers served upon you. Basically if you don't respond and he has to have you served with papers then they will ask a Judge for a costs order against you.
It is also possible that Kirk could seek to finalise the issue of the matrimonial finances.
In relation to the matrimonial finances - The correct process for dealing with the matrimonial finances and division is to go through a process known as full and frank financial disclosure. Yourself and your husband need to exchange full details of all assets ( including pensions) and liabilities before negotiations take place in relation to settlement.
The normal rule for division is 50/50 however the matrimonial causes act sets out factors which could lead to a departure from this rule. A few examples are the likely earning capacity of both of you for the future, health needs etc.
If agreement cannot be reached then an application would need to be made to the court. Mediation services in the UK seek to help you through the process of disclosure and mediation however as you are not in the UK then Kirk could apply straight to the court.
It is important that no division takes place until a court order is obtained. If division is agreed without the need to apply to court then you should submit a consent order for Judicial approval prior to division and obtaining decree absolute. Not doing so could leave you open for a future claim.
Kind Regards
I would be grateful if you could kindly rate my answer. I am new to this service and positive feedback is gratefully received.
I would be grateful if you could kindly rate my answer.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I would like an on line chat with you. As I have questions I would like you to answer some questions.

Do I have to reply back to Kirks Solicitor.Can I say I do not want to get divorsed

I think you said he could get a court order if I do not respond. Is that right. Does he have to pay money to do this and willI I be liable.

I really would like an on line chat with you. I thought this is how the UKfamioly solicitor worked. not Just one email from you.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Caroline

I am sorry I have been sick and just come out today to use the internet. I would like an on line chat with you for you to answer some questions. I guess you are not available to answer my questions now. Please get in tuch with me or answer my last questions.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks Jane t

I note you have more questions which I am able to assist you with.
As you are offline I will reply via message.
If you don't want to be divorced you could seek to contest the divorce. Contested divorces are normally costly and you would need to attend at court. There are strict time limits for contesting divorces. To disagree with the divorce petition fill in the acknowledgment of service form and return it within 8 days. Fill in the part that says you’re defending the divorce.
The court will send copies to your husband.
After you return the form, you have up to 21 days to say why you are defending the divorce. This is called ‘giving an answer’.
To do this, fill in the answer to a divorce petition.
In relation to your husband seeking to serve the divorce papers on you - he may choose to do this if you don't acknowledge service. Your husband could ask the courts for a costs order against you if he has to do this.
Kind Regards
Happy to discuss further. Please rate positively.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Caroline

Are you on line?

. As I am in Gambia,. Is he able to send me a court order here. I am really confused about all of of this. Do you think I should come back To England to sort this divorse out.

Thanks Janet

Hello Janet
Your husband can have you served with the papers in Gambia.
Divorce takes time even if not contested. It's up to you whether or not you come back but it won't make the process much quicker.
The British Embassy have produced a list if English Lawyers in Gambia. Worth a look:
Kind Regards
Please rate positively.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Caroline

Thank you for your emails. As Kirk has a Solicitor, can we still arrange to come to an agreement regarding the properties between ourselves. I don't think he will even answer my texts as he did not before.

Caroline are you on line now, so we can chat. Or please give me a time that we can chat on line tomorrow. I would really appreciate that. As there is so much information to be digested.

I hope I can chat to you soon.

Thank you for your response. I am sorry by the time I saw your message you are now showing as offline.
In relation to Kirk's Solicitor - you have to be mindful that he doesn't act for you - he acts in Kirk's best interests - not yours.
I have arranged to see my sister tomorrow but I should be home around 8. I haven't used the chat yet and am not sure if it works on my operating system - but will try.
Kind Regards
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

OK Caroline. I will make sure Im on line. I am actually on line now. I am not sure why it showed I was not on line.

Hopefully, we can chat tomorrow. thanks Janet

I'm sorry Janet - it's still saying offline
Speak tomorrow
Kind Regards
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Caroline I am on line now

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

are you on line Caroline. Im waiting for you?

Hello Janet are you there?
Hello I am here how can I help
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes I am here

Great - we are connected - how can I help
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Caroline. Can I wait until I get back to UK to employ a lawyer? Or what will happen if I do not respond. Will I be served with a court order?

when are you thinking of returning to the UK? when did you receive the divorce papers?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I am thinking of going back by 15th September. I just had an email about a month ago. But I replied back to her saying I was in Gambia and I would be returning by end of July. Then I sent her another email ion 14th August saying I still in Gambia and looking for a Solicitor here.

ok so the time has passed for you to acknowledge the divorce proceedings - you should have done this within 7 days. You have also likely missed the deadline to contest divorce - you would have had 21 days as the time has passed for you to acknowledge then Kirk could seek to have you served with the court papers however - as you have actually already emailed his solicitors twice then they could seek to use those emails as confirmation that you have received the court papers - this isnt guaranteed (especially as you are overseas) it seems as though they are giving you time to respond - you could email again and explain that you intend to return in September and that you will be instructing a solicitor then if you really dont want to get divorced then you could instruct solicitors to contest the UK courts jurisdiction of this matter - this is however normally very costly and is not guaranteed to succeed - but likely your only option not that you are out of time to contest
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Caroline. I cant even find the email. They sent me. But my sister has the letter at my mum's address.

So Caroline, what do you recommend I should do. To be honest, many solicitor's want upfront fees, and I presume both of the properties need to be sold for them to get their fees.

Caroline, I suffer with clinical depression, and have not been working for a couple of years and really not in a position to pay legal fees. Kirk and his partner are both working. I have a small pension, and my only other income is when I get guests in the apartment in Jamaica.

it doesn't sound like he has asked for a financial settlement yet - but he could and might you firstly need to decide if you want to get divorced:- if you decide no then you are going to have to argue jurisdiciton which is expensiveor just ignore him - and he will likely seek to have you served with the divorce papers and then seek and order that you are liable for the costs of him having to do that - then he will be able to continue on with the divorce without needing your consent if you decide yes - then you could fill in the acknowledgment of service by yourself in relation to financial matters - if he is seeking a settlement - and you do come back to the UK - refer to mediation. Mediation just involves you, Kirk and the mediator (most importantly no solicitors - so no fees) Mediation will help you go through full and frank financial disclosure and also help with negotiations - this is when you discuss your needs for the future. if you do reach an agreement at mediation - you could then instruct a solicitor to put the agreement into an order. if everything is agreed then this will cost you normally only a few hours of a solicitors time - even less if Kirks solicitor drafts the order and you ask a solicitor to check over it and make sure that it is correct. it only costs £50 to lodge an agreed consent order with the court finances only start to get expensive when matters are not agreed and an application is made at court. You might not have to do this.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

What do you recommend me to do Caroline? Where do I find a Mediator?

Where do I get the acknowledgement of service from?

Caroline what are your fees?

you really have to decide what is best for you - from the options I have outlined the acknowledgement of service form will be with the court divorce papers there are lots of mediators - it is the governments hope that matters can be resolved without resorting to court actions - a national mediation service is National Family Mediation - if they have an office local to you in the UK then great - if not there will be a local mediation serve that will have an office I am based up north and you are probably best getting a local solicitor local to you in the UK - its easier to meet face to face to sign documents solicitors costs are normally around £500 - £700 plus vat for an agreed consent orderfully contested financial proceedings can be £5 to 10k you can see that its better to save your money - if you can agree on a fair settlement - then spend it all on solicitors fees - hence mediation being really important
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you Caroline. You have been really helpful. I am sorry I've been such a pain.



Not a pain at all- bless you! can I assist any further?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Caroline, is the acknowlegement of service form the form that was attached to the email.

Do I complete this if I want to agree to the divorse?

Sorry. This is the last question.


it may be - it is entitled the Acknowledgement of service form so you will know what it is when you see it.If you do decide to agree to the divorce - then yes you should complete this form.If has has asked for costs of the divorce against you - you can say that you disagree because it is his petition.In you dont agree with his reasons for divorce, but still agree that you want to get divorced - then on this question you can write - I do not accept the reasons for divorce contained in this petition and I reserve my right to defend such allegations if they are used in any other proceedings. I am glad to have been of service to you Janet and I would kindly be grateful if you could rate my service. I wish you all the best for the future. Kind Regards Caroline
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