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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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What to do if something is threatening to put you in court

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What to do if something is threatening to put you in court for moral damages? Can this be classed as manipulation? what evidence is required to safeguard oneself from such allegations while living together?
JA: Where is this? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: England
JA: What steps have been taken so far?
Customer: Unsure.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: The person may be trying to use this to stay in the country as they are on a uk marriage visa.

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.

Who is this person to you?

what are moral damages?

and what is the background regarding this marriage visa please

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
The person is my civil partner, we married via proxy in Brazil and I'm unsure what these moral damages will entail, this is the third time he has threatened me with this. We met online back in 2018 and invited him to the UK for a holiday to get to know them better. Had a bit of a rough two years as I was dealing qith a previous divorce at the time. This ended and I was able to marry. Because of covid pandemic and the costs involved we decided to get married via proxy in Brazil. It has been a very stressful situation for the both of us. Now that he is here we are in the reality of the relationship. I know he is dependent on me and I've been working day and night to ensure he us well taken care of, the visa process, back and forth wtc has cost me a small fortune. He is teying his best to work but because of language barrier he is unable to speak to clients and I am dragged into to deal with work that is within his remit as he is a Painter and Decorator by trade. I feel like even though he works I still have to manage everything financial without any support. I think I may be a victim of financial abuse but I'm not sure how I can even prove this. I believe he may be unstable and fear for my life to be honest as I would like to end this relationship as it is starting to cause my mental health to decline, then to also be threatened about making a complaint as last night I was telling him about a quote he sent to a client that did not have the costs of the work in the required sections. As I believe if I'm to be talking to clients on his behalf I need to be involved with a few things that could potentially create problems. He seem to not have liked this and started to get upset telling me that he is tired and I am mentally torturing him, how could this be classed as mental torture if im only looking out for both his and the client's interest, I only decided to get involved in his business to ensure what I am telling the client is correct and best to my knowledge based on the information on the platform that he uses. He also wanted me to speak to another client when I was not in the mood, I work literally everyday in a high stress job and to be having to support him as well is alot. I have reached the end of trying to support everyone else and no one is supporting me. I need to get out before my mental health get any worst or he follows through on his threats and this affects my future in one way or another. I cannot live with him knowing this type of a threat exists and there is no way of protecting myself. I would like to end this relationship in the most amicable way possible as I believe he may be saying these things to create a case against me to be able to stay in the country beased on the Domestic violence route. He also has some university level knowledge of brazilian law, his best friend is also a Brazilian lawyer in Brazil who may be advising him. Hope this information helps.

My personal view is they are threatening to put you in court for moral damages is to tell them to get lost this is in the UK because they are dreaming. We don’t have any such thing in the UK.

I had to google married by proxy because although I could understand what it was, I didn’t actually know that such a thing existed. It doesn’t exist in the UK.

In the majority of the developed world, such a marriage is not valid so it depends whether it is legal in Brazil or not.

If it’s not, then you are not married and if it is, then you are and it still applies and you are in the UK.

According to Google proxy marriages indeed valid in Brazil and has been since 1916 here is an article which touches on that:

https://tribunalsdecisions.service.gov.uk/utiac/37750#:~:text=The%20Immigration%20Judge%20had%20before,Brazilian%20Civil%20Code%20of%202002.

So provided one of you is in the UK, then you can simply get divorced in the UK.

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.

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

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Hi Stuart, Thank you for the response. In terms of him using the domestice violence route to stay in the country, because he mentioned that he had gine ti the doctor a few months back to say he wasnt feeling well but I discovered some precription drugs in his name a wek later, when I asled about this he said that they were for his anxiety, never known him to have anxiety, when I looked it up, it was a form of anti-depressants, this has caused a bit of concern to me as I had to discover this myself and not sure what was said to the gp for them to precribe this. I work in an area that requires me to be of great character and I do not want anything to jeopardise my job or my future. I believe the only way to protect myself is to end the relationship and go our separate ways amicably. But until this is done, how can I legally protect myself? Record conversations? Don't talk to him? if he makes a scene which he often does, do I call the police?

Don’t talk to him. Telling you don’t want to speak to him and if he carries on harassing you, report it to the police. The police have a duty to prevent you being harassed.

Record anything and keep notes of dates times and what is said.

If he is on a Visa of some description then you need to report the change of relationship status to the authorities.

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 14 days ago.
Thank you for the advice, this is helpful. Going to be difficult not talking to him especiallywhen there is a few things to discuss about finances etc..., final question, what is the best way to go about the divorce, as I would like it all to be amicable and I am concerned about his reaction to the news?
Many thanks,
Aj.

There is no easy way of dealing with the divorce.

If it just arrived through the post he will potentially go berserk.

If you tell him that it’s going to come through the post he will potentially go berserk.

Heads you win, tails you lose.

Common courtesy, you should tell him that you’ve filled the divorce form in online and it will come through the post but you are trying to avoid going to solicitors.

Hello again. 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 14 days ago.
I prefer to tell him after I've done it, so I'm satisfied and prepared to know there is no going back from this. Many thanks for your advice.
Regards,
Aj.

How about telling him when it’s done and in the post to the court so that he is at least prepared for when it arrives through the door? Otherwise he could see that it’s from the court and simply put it in the bin.

Your choice.

Ultimately, if 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

Stuart J and 4 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** principal home of residence is here so no way he can say he did not get it. As I work from home I may take a photo of it when it arrives and it lands through the letterbox. Regards, Aj.

A friend of mine did exactly that although she actually picked it up and stuck it under his nose, struck the pen in his hand and made him sign it in front of her and she posted it!