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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 7610
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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can i get a divorce after 5 years seperation if i cant find

Resolved Question:

can i get a divorce after 5 years seperation if i cant find my ex wife,last contact she was in america
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: UK Family Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.


Thanks for your quesiton.


Although you do not require her consent to the petition because you have been separated for greater than 5 years it is still required that she is served with the divorce papers.


Service upon the Petition can only be dispensed with as a last resort where all other methods (ie, the above) have failed and the district judge considers it impractical or impossible to find her to serve it. It is taken very seriously because when dispensed with one could effectively be divorced without knowing it.


The quickest way forward would be to instruct an Enquiry Agent to trace him on your behalf. The will likely instruct a Tracing Company to find recent documentary evidence of where she is likely to be. You or the tracing agent can then attend to see if she is there or you can write to her.


Once you have exhausted all possible methods of tracing him you may be able to get a judge to dispense with service, but you will have to produce documentary evidence showing your efforts at finding her. A judge will much more easily convinced if you have a solicitor do it on your behalf.


If this is useful please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my time. You will be free to ask follow up questions.

Kind regards,


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
what happens if that person is in the country illegaly and does not want to be found,for obvious reasons
Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.



You are still able to divorce them obviously.


If they have returned to their home country or otherwise to a country where they do have legal leave remain then their would be no reason to conceal where they are.


If they do not have legal leave to remain then one would have thought that they would attempt to conceal where they are and it may make it difficult to trace them. This though would help your argument that it is impossible/impractical to find him and serve the papers on him and therefore more likely that the judge would be inclined to permit the divorce to proceed without service upon him.


I trust this clarifies, if so please click accept.

Kind regards,


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