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to insist on divorce

(51 Posts)
57968sp Tue 20-Sep-16 09:07:15

Met my OH four years ago, we now live together and make each other happy. (most of the time smile)
I have been widowed for 12 years, his wife died about 18 years ago then he went to work in China where he married again. Happy marriage for 11 years then when time came near for him to retire she refused to accompany him back to the UK. When we first met he explained it all, and his family have confirmed everything he told me. He was heart broken at the time but by the time we met he had come to terms with the situation.
Since we became a couple he has tried to get a divorce because I am most uncomfortable with him still being married. At first his wife agreed though she always took at least 3 months to answer each email. Apparently divorce is simple in China, you simply take the marriage papers in to a government office, pay the fee and it is done. OH sent the marriage papers to her and she confirmed receiving them but has done nothing. She always had excuses (out of town would see to it in her return etc.) but in the last year she has not contacted him.
Neither of us wish to marry, we have grown up families who accept us as a couple but from time to time I get very upset that I am with another woman's husband.
OH just wants us to get on with our lives but I would dearly love the situation to be regularised. AIBU to insist he keeps trying to get a divorce?
Incidentally I have NC for this but it is my first post.

HKHKHR Tue 20-Sep-16 09:14:37

flowers I can't help but someone who can we be along soon I am sure. I understand why you are uncomfortable.

acasualobserver Tue 20-Sep-16 09:19:47

OH just wants us to get on with our lives

I'm afraid I agree with him. His marriage is now only a technicality; he is not her husband in any meaningful sense. It would only be a problem in the event that you two wanted to get married - which you don't. Put it out of your mind ... none of us is getting any younger!

Minniemagoo Tue 20-Sep-16 09:20:25

Oh I would definitely push for the divorce even just to avoid a minefield should you oh become ill or worse. The legal minefield of NOK, House, Pension etc can all be challenged if she is still his wife.
Would it be worth the cost of hin flying out there and getting it done.

WhateverWillBe Tue 20-Sep-16 09:23:07

What if he died? Surely as his wife, she's his next of kin. She could dispute a will and cause havoc.

Don't forget about it and move on - keep on at her.

Oysterbabe Tue 20-Sep-16 09:25:39

Yep as pp said, you'll be on dodgy ground when he dies. He needs to keep pushing for divorce.

dillyduck Tue 20-Sep-16 09:26:52

Go to china and sort it out. Great place for a holiday- fascinating

Cocklodger Tue 20-Sep-16 09:26:54

If anything happens to your DP you will unlikely be consulted or thought of legally as you are not only not his wife (Which is risky in its own sense for you) but he HAS a wife. If you can spare the money fly out and get it done

sparechange Tue 20-Sep-16 09:27:14

Can he not divorce her in the UK?

I would be uncomfortable with this as well. Unless he has been totally watertight in preparing lasting and enduring powers of attorney, wills, beneficiaries for his insurance and pension plans etc, there is a very real chance she would be able to make a claim on him or his estate at some point.

BaronessEllaSaturday Tue 20-Sep-16 09:28:48

Why doesn't he apply for the divorce in this country, he is perfectly entitled to. If he wants the divorce then he needs to do it not just expect her to do it.

57968sp Tue 20-Sep-16 09:35:44

Thank you all for taking the time to advise me.
Flying out to China to get it done sounds simple but as well as being incredibly expensive there is the language problem and not having the required documents.
We both keep our money separate, we have wills leaving everything to our respective families, he lives in my house and he rents out his. Financially we are pretty equal. If he died I would financially be worse off (cheaper for two to live together) but neither of us expect to inherit from the other.
My concern is feeling like the OW. I want us to not be married because we both choose it, not because he has another wife IYSWIM.

57968sp Tue 20-Sep-16 09:37:42

Can he divorce in this country when all the marriage papers have been sent to China?

MargaretCavendish Tue 20-Sep-16 09:45:30

If he lived in China for 11 years surely he has some experience in negotiating language and bureaucratic barriers - contacts for people who can sort it out even if he himself can't?

RunningLulu Tue 20-Sep-16 09:47:38

Contact the Chinese Embassy.

sentia Tue 20-Sep-16 09:48:48

This might help OP. I think he will need the marriage certificate to divorce in the UK and it's not going to be straightforward even so.

Has he spoken to CAB? It's possible to divorce someone in the UK in absentia if you've been living separately for five years, provided there is proof of the marriage and separation.

APlaceOnTheCouch Tue 20-Sep-16 09:49:47

Is there a reason why you couldn't hire a translator or track down the required documents? I appreciate you mentioning that going to China would be expensive but since this situation is bothering you, surely it would be worth the expense to resolve it. You can't control what his (ex)wife does so you have to take control and act.

Phalenopsisgirl Tue 20-Sep-16 09:52:19

Despite the wills thing I think he should get it sorted, for his children if nothing else, she could suddenly pop up and cause trouble at any time otherwise. I'm sure there is a lawyer somewhere who can deal with this sort of thing for you

witchywoohoo Tue 20-Sep-16 09:52:57

He needs to push for divorce. For the sake of his children when he dies. It would break my heart if an estranged wife was able to call the shots after my father died. Encourage him to do it for their sake if not for yours.

Skittlesss Tue 20-Sep-16 09:53:05

It's not incredibly expensive to fly to China.

He needs to go and sort it out.

57968sp Tue 20-Sep-16 09:58:02

Thank you again everyone. Unfortunately having a Chinese wife meant that she dealt with all the language and bureaucracy stuff. OH can't even speak the language as she spoke perfect English.
Sentia, wonderful assistance there, so glad you replied to my post. star

VladmirsPoutine Tue 20-Sep-16 09:58:03

Absolutely push for a divorce. Wills and legalities aside, your feelings are valid wrt feeling like you are seeing another woman's husband.

APlaceOnTheCouch Tue 20-Sep-16 10:01:23

I'm also not sure that he would need to go to China. He could probably hire a solicitor in China who could then arrange the documents and the translations.
It sounds as though he's putting up barriers because it isn't important to him but as PPs have pointed out, it has the potential to impact legally on his DCs, so he actually should put in the effort to resolve this. (And, of course, it's making you unhappy too).

easterholidays Tue 20-Sep-16 10:04:21

I was married abroad and when we got divorced I was able to initiate it in the UK (I had to order a copy of our marriage certificate from the country where we married, but that - although it took a while - was not difficult). Then I just paid the fee, sent the papers and the certificate off to the UK divorce court and in due course it all went through. My ex (still living abroad) signed and returned the papers, but if he hadn't after a certain period of time (I think it was three months) then the court would have gone ahead and processed it in absentia, as sentia says. Your DP can do all of this himself without his estranged wife's input. Good luck!

Peanutbutterrules Tue 20-Sep-16 10:06:04

Def push for divorce. It's just not a nice feeling to be living with someone else's husband. Frankly she could cause all sorts of havoc later. If it really is no big deal she would have done it.

easterholidays Tue 20-Sep-16 10:07:21

He can start here, today.

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