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Help needed in what to do with with non-responsive Ex re divorce petition (he lives abroad so not straight forward)

(11 Posts)

Hello,

My Ex moved back to his country (Middle East) when we separated 18 months ago and has been over once in that time to see our son for 5 days (Ex has British passport). He also sees him on skype when it's possible. I have no problem with access etc and there is no property to split or money issues.

I thought the divorce would be non-contested as I discussed it with him and went ahead on that proviso. I can't afford a solicitor but I did pay for a consultation with one just to make sure I'd filled in the papers correctly a few months back.

Because of him living where he does we agreed that I'd send him the court stamped papers by email, which he would print, sign and email back so they could be posted to the court. But once he'd received them, he did not agree with the Statement of Arrangements for our son as he wants to include in it that when he turns 6 I will put him on a plane and send him over to his dad for holidays. I'd told him before that I wasn't prepared to put that in writing at this point and when the time came we would have to agree.

I've explained that even if he does want something else he has to respond to the court to tell them so. But he's just not doing anything now.

His allotted time to respond is up, and my option is to apply to the Judge to ask him to move the divorce on without his response but this requires proof that he has been served the papers. Because he lives abroad I'm not able to to use the court baliff option to have him personally served.

What I do have is email conversation discussing the petition, as well as postal receipt that I sent it by International Signed For with the Royal Mail (but this doesn't provide tracking in the destination country). Will this be enough proof that he has been served and is not responding, allowing the Judge to give directions? To take this step costs another £90 and I'd rather know how likely it is that it will be accepted by the Judge before doing it.

Any advice is appreciated!

Thanks

HermioneHatesHoovering Sun 21-Apr-13 01:15:42

This happened to a friend of mine who lives abroad (in an English speaking country) and would not reply to court papers sent to her. She was eventually served the papers by (I presume a bailiff) here. So I imagine the other party had to pay for that.

I served papers in my ex using a private investigator. I only had to send a photo of what he looked like, and knew the address, the PI signed forms to say he'd been served. It cost me $50 bqck thén so doesn't need to be expensive. I found the firm to do it on the Internet.

MooseBeTimeForSpring Sun 21-Apr-13 03:00:31

You can apply to the Court for deemed service. You would have to prepare a sworn statement setting out what happened and attaching copies of the emails as evidence.

MooseBeTimeForSpring Sun 21-Apr-13 03:01:58

Having said that, I'm not sure what the current Court rules are on service by email.

MooseBeTimeForSpring Sun 21-Apr-13 03:11:33

Did you get a notice from the Court saying that they had sent a copy of the sealed papers to him? Was his address on the petition?

mumblechum1 Sun 21-Apr-13 03:13:44

Definitely apply for deemed service. You need to file a statement backing up your application giving full details of what you've said in your op. Make sure you exhibit copies of all relevant emails, texts etc.

btw you are not seriously going to agree to sending your ds over there are you? Middle Eastern countries usually don't have reciprocal arrangements for the return of children to the UK (except for Pakistan and that doesn't always work). You may never see your son again if you let him go unaccompanied to the Middle East.

HermioneHatesHoovering Sun 21-Apr-13 07:52:12

I second what mumblechum says. Having lived in the ME, children over there are often regarded as property of the father.

Collaborate Sun 21-Apr-13 08:18:39

I third the deemed service suggestion.

babybarrister Sun 21-Apr-13 08:45:12

Have a read of info on Reunite website - after age of 7 boys will be kept with fathers ...

familylawyerlouise Tue 23-Apr-13 15:07:02

SOme courts won't accept applications for deemed service for Respondents who live abroad. The rules state that the papers have to be served by the government of that country or the British consular authority in that country. They must also be translated. Google Family Proceedings Rules rule 5.34 which sets out the requirements.

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