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I'm in a similar but more Enoch type situation. In 2008 I…

I'm in a similar but...
I'm in a similar but more Enoch Arnold type situation. In 2008 I misinterpreted the law to think that I was free to marry because I hadn't heard from my wife since 1997, heard thirdhand reports that she had remarried and emigrated, but couldn't really confirm if she was dead or alive until two years ago. Now I want a passport but don't know what status to put on my passport since I found out she was alive two years ago.
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Answered in 32 minutes by:
3/13/2018
N Cal Attorney
N Cal Attorney, Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 9,802
Experience: since 1983
Verified

I am sorry to hear this.

Please tell me in which country your wife is located - effecting service of process abroad is not always a big problem. And California will not honor a Hatian or Dominican divorce unless both parties took part in the case.

As for the passport question, you are still legally married so you have to say "married" on the application.

I hope this information is helpful.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I would have put down my first marriage?This is a woman who commutes between Ghana and the UK and refuses to be found. Would it be legal to pay her son (who is named on the Marriage) an honorarium for accepting the notice of divorce in her stead. She's been avoiding me on Facebook because of her current husband.

Yes you have to put it down because you are still legally marries. Her second marriage is legally void as bigamous under US law.

Do you know if she has a work address in the UK or Ghana? What passport does she carry?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
She carries a British passport I believe. Can't I have a process server just give the papers to her grown up son who is in contact with her since I derive no benefit from causing problems for her with her current husband. He will talk to me.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I'm not sure that she carries a British Passport though.
What I meant by not knowing what status to put, and having misinterpreted the whole wait 5 years thing, I meant which wife for me and her. I wouldn't be surprised if she just bribed some clerk to chuck our marriage record back in Ghana. That's how things get done in poor countries where civil servants make peanuts in wages.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I say that because I searched the online microfiche and found nothing. Some brothers at the Church of the woman I called my wife had someone go to the records office but they could find nothing. But I have a copy of the marriage record, and I applied to the embassy to sponsor her but since I didn't earn enough it never went anywhere.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Years ago I got a letter from the embassy saying they were purging the record of the application after 15 years of it going nowhere. My first marriage was in 1994 and I didn't see her until I found her Facebook page in 2016.

Can her son provide you with an address for her? Is she willing to sign a paper that appoints her son as her agent for service of process?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I don't know how far he would go. I have her photographed with friends and family at a visible address in Croydon, UK. I have already gotten a quote of £80 for three process server attempts in the London area. If she goes back and forth between London and Accra, would I have to do publication of service in both countries as due diligence?
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I'm not worried about it saying married in the Marriage application. I'm worried about getting labeled as a bigamist because of my current voidable marriage which I entered into thinking I was free to remarry because 5 years had passed and because of the dates on a passport I might get. If the divorce goes through,

She can be served by certified mail in the UK under Code of Civil Procedure § 415.30:

(a) A summons may be served by mail as provided in this section. A copy of the summons and of the complaint shall be mailed (by first-class mail or airmail, postage prepaid) to the person to be served, together with two copies of the notice and acknowledgment provided for in subdivision (b) and a return envelope, postage prepaid, addressed to the sender.

(b) The notice specified in subdivision (a) shall be in substantially the following form:

(Title of court and cause, with action number, to be inserted by the sender prior to mailing)

NOTICE

To:(Here state the name of the person to be served.)

This summons is served pursuant to Section 415.30 of the California Code of Civil Procedure. Failure to complete this form and return it to the sender within 20 days may subject you (or the party on whose behalf you are being served) to liability for the payment of any expenses incurred in serving a summons upon you in any other manner permitted by law. If you are served on behalf of a corporation, unincorporated association (including a partnership), or other entity, this form must be signed in the name of such entity by you or by a person authorized to receive service of process on behalf of such entity. In all other cases, this form must be signed by you personally or by a person authorized by you to acknowledge receipt of summons. Section 415.30 provides that this summons is deemed served on the date of execution of an acknowledgment of receipt of summons.

Signature of sender

ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF RECEIPT OF SUMMONS

This acknowledges receipt on (insert date) of a copy of the summons and of the complaint at (insert address).

Date:(Date this acknowledgement is executed)

Signature of person acknowledging receipt, with title if
acknowledgment is made on behalf of another person

(c) Service of a summons pursuant to this section is deemed complete on the date a written acknowledgement of receipt of summons is executed, if such acknowledgement thereafter is returned to the sender.

(d) If the person to whom a copy of the summons and of the complaint are mailed pursuant to this section fails to complete and return the acknowledgement form set forth in subdivision (b) within 20 days from the date of such mailing, the party to whom the summons was mailed shall be liable for reasonable expenses thereafter incurred in serving or attempting to serve the party by another method permitted by this chapter, and, except for good cause shown, the court in which the action is pending, upon motion, with or without notice, shall award the party such expenses whether or not he is otherwise entitled to recover his costs in the action.

(e) A notice or acknowledgment of receipt in form approved by the Judicial Council is deemed to comply with this section.

See http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/fl117.pdf for a form you will need and http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/fl115.pdf

for the proof of service form.

You cannot serve her your self because you are a party, but anyone over 18 can do this for you.

I hope this information is helpful.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
concerning my second marriage that I'm in, is it merely voidable, or completely void since I learned that my first wife is alive and itinerant and unwilling to acknowledge me on Facebook.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Should I serve the address of the 'family and friends' photo she has on Facebook?
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
She might live there, might not, but it is her last known location as shown on her facebook account.

You can try serving her by certified mail at her last known address.

Your current marriage is valid (but voidable) because your wife had been mssing for over 5 years before you remarried.

Family Code § 2201:

"(a) A subsequent marriage contracted by a person during the life of his or her former spouse, with a person other than the former spouse, is illegal and void, unless:

(1) The former marriage has been dissolved or adjudged a nullity before the date of the subsequent marriage.

(2) The former spouse (A) is absent, and not known to the person to be living for the period of five successive years immediately preceding the subsequent marriage, or (B) is generally reputed or believed by the person to be dead at the time the subsequent marriage was contracted.

(b) In either of the cases described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), the subsequent marriage is valid until its nullity is adjudged pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 2210."

N Cal Attorney
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