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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 7435
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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i have been separated for nine months and want to get divorced.

Resolved Question:

i have been separated for nine months and want to get divorced. my spuse has disappeared. can i file for unreasonable behviours and proceed without their agreement if i cant find them? we were married for four years. we have already sorted out or finances
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: UK Family Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for your question.

I’m afraid not, no. The judge would have the capacity to proceed without the petition being acknowledged but this is very rare and reserved for situations where all practical steps have been taken to serve the papers upon the respondent.

You will have to continue either in your informal efforts at finding them or by instructing a tracing agent in order to conduct a detaied search on your behalf. If you good tracing agents you will find lots of providers.

It’s rare to dispense with service because a person could become divorced without knowing it. In all probability the tracing agent will find your spouse and you can proceed with serving the papers on them. If they cannot find them then you will be able to show the judge of the steps you have taken to find your spouse and proceed, possibly with service being dispensed with, with your divorce.

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I will answer your follow up questions you may have.

Kind regards,

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for your advice. I think they have gone abroad. Is the "worst case" scenario therefore that I have to wait for five year's separation and can the proceed without their consent? Cheers.
Expert:  Thomas replied 4 years ago.

If you cannot convince the judge to dispense with service, then yes, that is the worst case scenario but if you are able to prove you have taken all reasonably efforts to find them then the judge will be reasonable.

Trust this clarifies, please click accept.

Kind regards,

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