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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 28156
Experience:  25 years experience of all aspects of family law
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Is my marriage valid and do I need to get a divorce

Customer Question

In April 1998 I got married in the Dominican Republic, it was a holiday wedding package provided by the flight operator Airtours, we were there about a week before the marriage and then stayed about a week afterwards before the end of the holiday. Both myself and my ex are English and we never registered the marriage to the register of births deaths or marriages in the UK.
am I legally married and required to get a divorce from my ex as we have been separated since Aug 2006
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question
I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How far did the Divorce reach?
Claire
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I filed for a divorce on the grounds that my wife had committed adulatory, to which she had a child buy another person. My wife filed an answer to my divorce petition stating it wasn't adultery as we were separated, she then turned nasty and filed her own divorce petition stating I had had 5 affairs to which this wasn't true and she had no evidence of as it was lies. That's as far as the divorce ever got, as I couldn't afford to pay solicitors to keep arguing with my ex's claims. There is no decree nisi, it never got that far
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Yes you are indeed legally married in the UK and you cannot remarry unless there is a divorce.
Given the problems you had last time the way forward is to apply to the Court to dismiss your earlier petition and issue a Petition based on the fact that you have lived apart for five years.
Legal Aid is no longer available so you should have no problem with your ex
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Claire
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't even have a copy of my divorce certificate, so how can I re-submit a divorce petition to the courts. And what if my ex was to just not sign the papers, what happens then?
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
The Marriage Certificate is still with the Court from when you issues the first Petition.
When you apply to have that Petition dismissed you ask for the Marriage Certificate (and translation) to be released into the new proceedings (which you will send at the same time).
Once the new proceedings are issued all you will have to do is arrange for personal service by an Enquiry Agent and then the divorce can go ahead without any involvement from her at all
Claire
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just to confuse matters, at the time there was a custody battle going through the same courts at the same time, the solicitor I was using at the time moved the hearing from London to Newcastle to get the proceedings away from the London judge, they said my chances weren't great of wining custody as the judge was bias towards women, so by moving the case to Newcastle, the area my ex is from, would move the case away from the bias judge. The London courts merged the two files and sent them up to Newcastle, but Newcastle when asked only had receipt of the custody files, there was no record of the divorce files, so where do I go from here?
As you can see it hasn't been straight forward and hence why it has just been left for so long due to its complicated nature, but now I am just wanting closure and rid of my involvement of my ex once and for all.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
As a starting point write to both courts and check - it is likely that it is in one place or the other.
If not it is a matter of getting another copy and another translation I am afraid
Claire
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Regarding the divorce, in conversations with my ex wife when she turns things into an argument, she mentions she will take me for half of my house. We have been separated since the summer of 2006 and I purchased the house in Dec 2010, it currently sits at negative equity due to the drop in house prices. Is she entitled to half of the house as it has been purchased 4 years after separation, and if so would she be liable for half the debt to clear the mortgage seeing as it is in negative equity?
Expert:  Clare replied 11 months ago.
Hi
Your ex has no claim on any assets that you have acquired since separation - and since she has moved on and had children with a new partner there is no maintenance claim she could make that a court would respect either
Finally - if there is no equity in the property she couldn't "claim" anything except a share of the debt anyway!
Claire
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 28156
Experience: 25 years experience of all aspects of family law
Clare and 2 other UK Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Does that answer also apply for anything I might have inherited from family that have past away since the separation. I have left a will asking that everything I have goes to my father(should he still be alive) for him to do as he sees fit. Can my ex override that if something was to happen to me prior to me getting my divorce finalised?
Expert:  Clare replied 11 months ago.
Hi
Anything inherited since the separation is certainly safe - she has no claim on that at all.
Whilst technically she could challenge your Will given the circumstances she will struggle to show that she was in any way dependent on you
Cliare
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I don't mean to question your answer regarding is my house purchase is safe, but I'm reluctant to invest any more into the property if there is any remote chance she has any chance of getting her hands on it or apart of it, if she was to take an argument through the courts?
Expert:  Clare replied 11 months ago.
Hi
Did you have any assets joint or otherwise at the time of separation?
Claire
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
A while after we had separated, we both later decided that it was fair to say what matrimonial assets we had gained during the marriage had been split fairly.

I had a car that was worth £50000 and a bike which had been given to me by my wife as a Christmas present estimated value of £7000

While my wife had her van that I'd paid for worth £18000
Her DJ business and equipment worth well over £10000 and all its potential earnings from work
I had paid 1/3 of her fathers mortgage and the house value was estimated at around £90000 so we agreed £30000 was fair
And lastly I had paid for a breast enlargement operation for my wife at around £6000
And lastly my wife had any item of furniture from the house that she wanted as at that time my son was to be living with her, since then he now lives with me and I haven't asked for a single item back.
In total I walked away with £57000 while my wife had in the region of £64000+

Since we separated and it was passed through the courts in feb 2008, I was originally paying my ex £200 a month in maintenance and since mar 2010 when there was a residency switch, my ex wife hasn't paid me a single penny towards our sons upkeep.
Expert:  Clare replied 11 months ago.
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Customer: replied 11 months ago.
One slight spanner in the works is he now no longer lives with either of us, as he keeps choosing to run away every time I tell him off for doing wrong things, and then opts to go into social services temporary foster care as there is no restrictions and pocket money for not having to do any chores.
I have heard that my ex plans to apply for residency again, although social services aren't to keen on that because in jan 2010 she assaulted him and was removed from her care by social services and they know he is only saying he wants to live with his mum now as he will over power her and get away with murder, so to speak, not literally lol
I'm located in Northern Ireland and my ex is over in Newcastle England if that makes any difference
Expert:  Clare replied 11 months ago.
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Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Even if our son was to return back to England and live with his mum?
Could she not try take to the cleaners so to speak
Expert:  Clare replied 11 months ago.
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