Many people often separate and completely loose touch with their ex. They often think that they are better off without them, and want to maintain as much distance as possible. This may seem a good idea at the time, but when you want to get a divorce, this is a huge problem.
You can either use 5 years separation without consent, but even then the courts require you to prove you have made every attempt to notify your partner of the divorce. With social media, this can be achieved often quite easily. However, there are some people that just seem to vanish off the face of the earth. They either loose contact with friends and family or their friends and family are so tight, they will not pass on any details of their existence. This can make notifying them of your intention to divorce very difficult.
So what do you do?
- If you remain married, your ex-partner could be entitled to a percentage of the wealth established since your split.
- You can make a claim for a ‘declaration of presumed death’ from the High Court.
Declaration of presumed death
You can make a claim if the person has been missing for:
- 7 years or more
- less than 7 years and you think they’ve died, for example they went missing during a natural disaster
To make a claim of presumed death, a person will need to complete the relevant claim and present it to the High Court. Then send copies of the claim to any parent, child or sibling of the missing person. If none of these are still alive, the claim must be sent to their nearest relative. Copies should also be sent to any known organisation to which the missing person has a link. Eg an insurance company or trade union.
The claim must be then advertised in a local newspaper within 7 days of making the claim.
Send the court a copy of the newspaper page showing the advertisement so it arrives at least 5 days before your court hearing.
You will have to attend a hearing about your claim with a High Court judge. This should be within 2 months of making your claim. If the court agrees with your application, you’ll get a declaration of presumed death at the hearing or later by letter.
The next step is to apply to the General Register Office for a certificate of presumed death. You can only do this after you have a declaration of presumed death that is not appealed and the time for appealing against the decision has passed.
The court fees for a declaration of presumed death are currently £528. This is in addition to the court fees for divorce, currently £550.
If you need any advice on getting divorce, then please contact Divorce Negotiator on 0800 177 7702