UK Family Law
Ask an UK Family Law Question, Get an Answer ASAP!
Thanks for your question.
Although in some circumstances the Judge acting in a divorce can dispense with service, it is pretty rare in that it is the last resort and will ask that you make all appropriate investigations in to establishing his whereabouts so that he can be served with the divorce petition, acknowledge it and engage in the process.
If you have exhausted the informal means (ie. friends, relatives) then you should consider instructing a tracing agent to act on your behalf. You will have to pay for this and I would get a quote up front or set the terms of information about their charges clearly. They will search for your husband themselves, a google search for "tracing agents" will illicit a number of results.
In the event that the above unsuccessful then you can ask the Court to request a search of his addresses in the DWP or Passport Service's records.
If this is useful please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my time. It will be gratefully received and you will be free to ask follow up questions.
Thanks for your kind accept.
The Judge will ask that you make all reasonable enquiries, if you suspect he has returned home you will probably be asked to investigate by using an appropriate agent in Greece to see if he is there.
Given the length of time you have been separated it's possible the Judge could order to dispense with service but to do this you must convince them that it is impractical/impossible to serve the petition on him. For this you would have to make an application without notice to the Court supported by an affidavit setting out why there is a problem and what you have done to trace the respondent. You would probably need assistance from a solicitor for this.
You can check to see if you are eligible for legal aid here:-
It's unlikely to cost that much more in Greece than it is in England, but the Judge is likely to view that as a reasonable expense I'm afraid. They are very reluctant to divorce without the respondent being served the papers because divorce is obviously a fairly fundamental change in one's status (albeit that you have been effectively separated for a very long time.
They will do it, but only in fairly exceptional circumstances which yours probably would be if you cannot trace him in Greece, but an attempt should probably be made to do so.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).