What happens if I cannot locate my spouse, is a question we often get asked. Do you need to wait 5 years before you can get a divorce?
Often when couples separate, one party will quite simply disappear without a trace. This happened to a recent client of ours.
Her husband went out to get some milk from the shop and never returned. This is quite unusual, in that the husband left everything at the house. For the wife, what turned from worry over his wellbeing to anger when no trace was found at hospitals, police etc. She eventually found him through friends. He had just upped and left and started a new life in the north.
The wife soon realised she had been used just to get a married person visa. Her husband was from Ghana and used the marriage to get into the country and get a working visa.
Upon accepting her poor judgment, the wife thought that getting a divorce would be easy given her circumstances.
Her divorce application cited desertion as the reason for divorce, which by everybody’s agreement was true. Everyone, that is except the court. The court decided there was insufficient evidence to use desertion. We refiled the application using unreasonable behaviour as the reason for divorce.
This was accepted, but as we didn’t know the whereabouts of the husband, we had to use a tracing service to track him down. They couldn’t find him despite him appearing on social media. We then applied to the court to dispense with services.
Each refiling and dispensation of services incurred additional court fees to this poor lady.
So the moral of this story, do try to keep in touch with a friend or two of your partner and be extra vigilant when getting married. Does your new partner have a hidden agenda of getting married quickly? Don’t get bullied into something you are uncomfortable with despite all the promises.
If you would like some advice on how to progress with your divorce, please contact us on 0800 177 7702