two year separation divorce defended

(34 Posts)
amanda276000 Fri 31-Jan-14 08:56:12

Me and my fiance started our relationship after he separated with his ex wife a bit more than 2 years. We have been planning for marriage but couldn't until his divorce is done. He contacted his ex-wife to ask her to sign the paper, but she didnt. He filed the petition recently and waiting for the court's response. His ex wife has been making it very difficult. how long would it takes for this to end? we are in long distance relationship, and see each other only every 2 or 3 months. it has been very stressful knowing what is happening. can anyone give me some advice on it?

LauraBridges Fri 31-Jan-14 09:11:02

She cannot stop it if they have been separated for two years but she can drag it out. The court might need to order her to accept the papers in some way. Just as important as the decree absolute though is having a final financial order sealed by the court - get that done before decree absolute. If she will not accept an agreement with him about dividing assets and money and debts then the court will have a hearing to decide those things.

freakydoris Fri 31-Jan-14 09:19:03

The papers can be served to her by a court bailiff - this was the case with my ex as he was trying to drag things out so I suffered more. They go to the person's home or place of work so they can't wriggle out of it.

amanda276000 Fri 31-Jan-14 09:23:54

I just knew that my fiancé filed on the unreasonable behaviour ground, how long could that probably take as she does not agree? and what the procedures would be?

wannaBe Fri 31-Jan-14 09:32:52

I was under the impression that you can only force a divorce after five years, although after two years you can file with "irretrieveable breakdown of the marriage" as opposed to unreasonable behaviour. Perhaps it's the unreasonable behaviour element that she has railed against, because for that you have to sight five reasons of said unreasonable behaviour and it can then get quite nasty.

Personally I would be a bit hmm about being engaged to someone who is still technically married to someone else. I think there's a vast difference between being in a relationship with someone once you're separated, but to essentially start planning the wedding before the last marriage has even been legally dissolved seems a bit crass, and I can see why the ex might be a bit reluctant to aid that process iyswim, esp if she herself isn't in a new relationship at this stage.

I would just go with the divorce process and take the time to get to know each other, if you only see each other every three months then presumably you don't yet know each other that well, and rushing into marriage seems a bit unwise.

amanda276000 Fri 31-Jan-14 09:46:55

we were close friends when I was studying in UK from 2005-2007. I left after i finish my study, and we did not really contact each other much after that. We started to contact each other again early last year. From the conversation I knew that he get married and divorced. And we realized that we liked each other at the time when I was in UK, and the feeling came back when we talk to each other. He assured me that he was legally divorced. I am heart broken when I found out he lied and he is actually not divorced but separated for more than 2 years. at the time I realize it, we have already planned our wedding. All my relatives and friends have been informed. I don't know what to do now. It will be painful for some time if we break up now. But we really love each other. I really need to know how long would it take

wannaBe Fri 31-Jan-14 09:53:10

he's lied to you about being divorced to the point you had planned your wedding.

IMO he is probably still lying to you and hasn't filed for divorce at all, but very conveniently has said that his ex has refused to sign the papers because she is contesting it.

Your friends and family are the least of your worries - do you really want to be married to someone who lies to you like that?

I would get rid tbh.

Are you sure he is even separated? You say you only see each other every two or three months. Who visits who at these times and where do you stay?

If you left in 2007 and he wasn' even in a relationship then, and by the start of 2013 he claims to have been married and separated for 2 years, that's a pretty short timescale.

Sorry but I think he is still actually married, otherwise why would he have told you he was divorced then backtrack once the wedding was planned?

He has no respect for you or your feelings, I feel terribly sorry for you having to tell all your friends and relatives that the wedding was off - did you actually tell them its because he is still married to someone else?

If you ever do get married who will live where? Is he going to come to your country or will you try to get a spousal visa (or whatever you need) for the UK. Or is he thinking of keeping it as a long distance relationship, living his life how he pleases in the UK and only seeing you every few months?

You can do far far better than be trying to marry a part time liar like this.

amanda276000 Fri 31-Jan-14 10:35:25

He went to my home twice and we spent our holiday in Singapore once. I went to see him once in UK. we have both met each other's family. I stayed in his house when I visited him in UK. He stays with his mom and his wife lives in another city.
We will stay in his house in UK after getting married. We were planning for me to apply for the spouse visa after we get married and I found out this when I ask him to get all the documents ready.
I asked him why he lied to me, he said he was afraid that i would run away if i know he is just separated instead of divorced. And he thought he could get everything sorted before I know it and send me the papers I need for the visa application. I get suspicious when he tried to delay the time that he can send me the papers and eventually I find out he is not yet divorced.
He wants to come to my home country and live with me there, but I don't know what kind of visa he can get as we are not even married. If what he told me is true, then it might worth a trial to go through this process together with him. But i really don't know if he is lying or not. this makes me really painful now.

Sorry to hear that the situation is making you so miserable.

LauraBridges Fri 31-Jan-14 15:33:01

Actually very good legal point above. If she won't consent he needs to use unreasonable behaviour as his ground which does not even require the 2 year point. Plenty of men pretend they cannot get divorced as they don't want their new woman getting any of their assets or money and if he's still married he doesn't have to marry the new woman.

Have you done things like internet searches on him and if he is a company director company searches to see if other things he has said seem true? Try a google image search of his picture too.

Svina Fri 31-Jan-14 17:13:12

It sounds like you have a lot of reasons to be suspicious of him.... Staying with his mum? Well yes he might be, but he might also be doing that when it is convenient for him......

When you marry someone you NEED to trust them. How can you trust him before you have had a consistent courtship? Yet in your plan, marriage precedes really getting to know each other because one of you requires a visa.

Find another way to get a visa which doesn't involve marriage.
Then you will marry him because you KNOW he is right for you.
Do you want to be stuck in a second messy divorce with him in 2 years time?

wannaBe Fri 31-Jan-14 17:14:47

ok, according to this you have to have been living apart for more than five years in order to get a divorce without the other party's consent. After two years both parties still have to agree.

So if he actually has been separated and his ex disagrees with the divorce she can make you wait for another three years.

Added to the fact he has already lied I would run for the hills personally.

Jux Fri 31-Jan-14 18:50:39

He's lying to you.

I am willing to bet money that's still living with her (and lying to her too). They probably had a baby last year and he was feeling fed up with family life due to lack of sleep and wife expecting him to do some housework.

You have probably had a lucky escape.

LauraBridges Fri 31-Jan-14 18:59:44

wannabe, BUT he can use unreasonable behaviour. Just about any marriage in England you can write out an unreasonable behaviour petition even just that they have an annoying habit or shout. It really is divorce on demand, no point in ever waiting the 2 years with consent or 5 without consent.

amanda276000 Sat 01-Feb-14 03:17:41

He told me he filed the petition on the ground of unreasonable behavior. Anybody knows how can I check if he really file or not?

MooseBeTimeForSnow Sat 01-Feb-14 04:39:54

Ask to see the confirmation from the Court that the Petition was issued and sent to his wife. It should have a red stamp on it with the name of the Court.

amanda276000 Sat 01-Feb-14 04:43:09

Is there any way of checking without him knowing it?

LauraBridges Sat 01-Feb-14 09:32:51

I think it's hard to check as there is no on line access in England to those papers. In theory I think those are public documents as when celebrities divorce the divorce petition or may be just the final divorce order is public.
You could try telephoning in office hours the local court where he lives and asking them what records are available.

Or just say that for visa purposes you have been asked to show a copy of his divorce petition on unreasonable behaviour grounds and ask him for a copy.

amanda276000 Sat 01-Feb-14 13:12:03

I asked him for the case number. He has a solicitor do this for him. He said all the documents go to his solicitor directly, and he does not have anything. if he ask the number from the solicitor, fee will be charged again. solicitor charge him base on time spent on answering his phone call and replying email regarding his case. the solicitor fee is 265 pounds/hour. Would this be the case there?

LauraBridges Sat 01-Feb-14 17:38:04

Yes, but I would be surprised if the solicitor had not sent him the documents. They usually copy everything they issue or sent out by email to their client these days. It might well cost him 10 minutes of the lawyers' time - about say £50 for the lawyer to do the email but offer to pay and see if he agrees as a test. £265 an hour is a pretty standard sort of rate so that all sounds fair enough.

amanda276000 Sun 02-Feb-14 02:02:08

He said he filed the petition for twice. For the first petition, he said his wife said her mom is ill, and want to delay it for 3-4 months. Then he reapplied. I always feel it's not very logical. It's about a month from the time he told me he filed the petition to the time he told me she wants to delay it. Can she reply to the petition to delay it base on that reason? How can he reapply again immediately if she wants to delay it? I have so many questions in my mind, but I can't ask him directly as I'm not sure if he has really done it. If he has and I still question him, it will definitely ruin our relationship and there will be no trust at all between us even we are still together. I'm trying to find out the truth so that I can make the right decision.

LauraBridges Sun 02-Feb-14 07:28:09

She can do nothing. Plenty of spouses refuse to accept the petition or throw it in the bin and then the divorce only goes ahead if the other spouse obtains a court order to push it through. You can delay it for a long time if you wish so it is not impossible he just withdrew the first petition and then applied again.

I think more important that whether he will marry you is whether you can trust him more generally and if you should be thinking about marriage before you've lived together in the same country for a while - seeing each other every few months for 2 years and being in different countries means it must be very difficult. You can usually tell if someone is still living with their wife by if they are not available when you call them at certain times. Have you checked his UK address to see if he lives there through things like the electoral register in the UK and google searches and where his wife lives? You could also check if he has been married before another time to someone else and divorced as that marriage and divorce will be on the public register. You could also check if he is still married to his current wife - for those searches you probably need his and her name and dates of birth and you have to pay a fairly small fee. It would be under Register of Marriages UK or some google search like that to find the official UK site. You can often find the full name and date of birth of the man if he is a director of a UK registered limited company (not all men of course are directors however) by searching his directorships on a google search. you can also pay to do electoral register etc searches by name and address on 192.com.

LauraBridges Sun 02-Feb-14 07:29:08

Also if he says he owns a UK property you can search our property register here on line which will be something like Land Registry UK but there is a fee to pay for that. In other words the more status and wealth a man or woman has in the UK such as companies, properties the easier it is to search them in official registries to prove if they are what they say and own what they say.

amanda276000 Sun 02-Feb-14 08:33:25

Laura, thank you so much for all the information you have given. It's really helpful, and I don't feel as bad as before now. At least he may not be totally lying. I will do some research.

WanderingAway Sun 02-Feb-14 09:08:56

When i got divorced my solicitor sent me copies of every letter that was sent from me and to me.

It took two years of back and forth before my divorce was final and my ex wasnt really fighting it.

amanda276000 Mon 03-Feb-14 01:28:46

Is 2 years the general lead time for a divorce case in UK? I think our relationship will be really a problem if it takes two years as we are not in the same country. And we need this marriage certificate for anyone of us to settle in each other's country? Would it be shorter? He said that according to his solicitor, the case would take about 6 months. Would this be possible?

WanderingAway Mon 03-Feb-14 07:21:36

I think it all depends on the divorce.

Do both parties agree to the divorce, is there any assets to be divided up, do both parties agree on what assets each person gets, are there any children, do both parties agree on a custody arrangement and maintenance.

If both of your partner & his ex can agree on all those things it could possibly be quicker however going to court can take time. It can be weeks/months between each hearing.

wannaBe Mon 03-Feb-14 09:51:12

laura, a petition of unreasonable behaviour still has to be answered by the other party though. Technically, you can divorce for unreasonable behaviour, but either the other party needs to confirm (in writing) that they do not defend the claims (i.e. that they accept the petition) or they can defend the claims, in which case there is a chance the courts will not allow a divorce on those grounds.

It really is not as simple as just filing for a divorce for unreasonable behaviour, until parties have been separated for five years, both parties do need to be involved, even if it is only for the other party to say that they accept the petition (as is also the case with adultery). The other party is totally within their rights to contest a divorce petition on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour, and if that happens it will go to court and take much longer to go through and be very expensive for the petitioner, because it is down to the petitioner to prove his/her claims of unreasonable behaviour and convince the courts to grant the divorce.

Op - every divorce is different, but it really depends on the circumstances e.g. finance/assets/children etc. Typically an uncontested divorce takes between six/twelve months to go through but there are no hard and fast rules....

amanda276000 Mon 03-Feb-14 13:50:25

Thank you wannaBe. I think I need to be prepared now. It's really frustrating

DontmindifIdo Mon 03-Feb-14 14:03:48

OP - I'm not sure about the legal side, and it reads like you've had some very good advice, but more importantly, the emotional side seems to be setting off alarms, you are planning on marrying a man who you don't know that well, and don't know well enough to know if he's lying to you. And he's prepared to lie about something this big, what else has he lied about? (or exaggerated, or minimised, or just not informed you if not 100% lied).

Will you be starting married life always wondering if he's being honest with you? Will you be starting married life in another country, with no support network, and your right to be in the country linked to your marriage to him? that's not a recipe for success.

Is it really not possible for one of you to get a 6 month visa for the other country to work and get to know each other a bit better, have chance to find out if you can make it work? You will be taking a lot on trust, you are going to be making masive changes to be with a man who has proved you can't trust him. Think very carefully, better the embarrassment of splitting up after annoucing an engagement than spliting up after a marriage and given up everything for him.

LauraBridges Mon 03-Feb-14 14:04:26

yes, but if you contest unreasonable behaviour you just about always lose so it in divorce on demand after a year of marriage BUT and it is a big but the other person can really string it out if they want to and take ages, that's true.

Ours took 7 months, both had lawyers (we were living together) and we reached agreement between each other about the money side. Many divorces take a lot longer.

amanda276000 Mon 03-Feb-14 18:15:26

DontmindifIdo, I was mad and couldn't think properly at first, but I have calmed down after reading all the advice given. i thought I know him well as we stayed in the same house in UK for about two years from 2004 to - 2007. But people may change after so many years. It's not possible for him to get a more than one month visa to my country. I can get visa to UK, but quite impossible to get few months off from my work.

amanda276000 Mon 03-Feb-14 18:22:55

Accordingly to him, his wife asked for £20K+ to sign the consent on two year separation ground, but he didn't agree. Then he went for unreasonable behavior.

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