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To want divorce from missing spouse

(27 Posts)
msserene Fri 12-Jan-18 20:22:24

Hello everyone I'm new here today and came across this site while searching for some help for my mum.
The research I've done shows the same things as her solicitor says so I wanted to run it by you all for some insight and any additional help if you have experience.

My dad left her 2.5 years ago. He is someone who is paranoid about government, courts, judges, police etc and so although he threatened her with divorce / WANTED a divorce from her, he never actually went through with it and went off with another lady and is living with her and her kids but we don't know exactly where. We've seen him about 3x in all these years, all 3x with the lady and her kids but we dont know where they live etc, we don't know his current contact number, place of work or address. He does not have any close family or freinds in UK. (long story short: he is abusive and controlling and although he has some step family in UK, no one has been in contact with each other for over 20 years through his own doing, we were very much loners all our life).

When he left he signed a council form handing over full tenancy to my mum and wrote a letter to confirm this which he signed too. Council had said this is all well and legit but they will also need an official document proving divorce before they put the tenancy in my mum's name to prove they are no longer together.
Before this, in the 25 or so years they've been living together he has never, ever put her as a joint tenancy, also for control reasons.

When he left he had also left us in several thousands of pounds debt in rent and council taxes which we had to pay off as soon as we told council he had left or they threatened to evict us too. So we cleared the rent and council tax debt which put credit to his name and we are still paying rent and council tax, always up to date etc but it is in my dad's name so its doing him good instead of my mum as my mum has no place on the council register / not known to them because of my dad.

We had gone to a solicitor back then so she could divorce him but they said without his address to hand him a divorce notice in person or a family/friends address who could hand him the divorce notice for us there is no way to proceed with a divorce unless she waited 2 years or more, after which she can do a missing spouse divorce.

Does anyone have any advice and tips on this? Does anyone know how this works and what has to be done? We cannot do it ourselves online as we don't know his address etc so that's why we are trying to do it through a solicitor who has also said without an address to send the papers or to hand it to him in person, it would be near enough impossible. Is there any other way?

He does sometimes pay child maintenance for my younger sibling's (14 & 17) but will the cms reveal his address to us if we explained it's for divorce purposes?

Also, aibu to think this is illegal?
In the 2.5 years he has left he has been using our address for various things which I think are fraud activities:
-he has gone to France and used our address to loan a car and the outstanding bill + fine for speeding ticket came to us!
-he has taken out several loan's from banks, loan websites and other companies while using our address when he doesn't even live here anymore.
-he has falsely used mine and my siblings names for loans and other things!
What can we do about this?

Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

Gilead Fri 12-Jan-18 20:24:36

Go to the police. What he's doing is fraud.

Aquamarine1029 Fri 12-Jan-18 20:25:37

You don't need advice from anyone on here, your mum only needs to retain a solicitor who knows the law and how to proceed.

ProseccoPoppy Fri 12-Jan-18 20:26:19

I’d instruct a PI to do a trace enquiry and find him and give you address details etc. They aren’t always that expensive (surprised your mum’s solicitor didn’t suggest it tbh). That way she can crack on with a divorce ASAP (which would be very sensible)

WheresTheHooferDoofer Fri 12-Jan-18 20:26:57

In the 2.5 years he has left he has been using our address for various things which I think are fraud activities:
-he has gone to France and used our address to loan a car and the outstanding bill + fine for speeding ticket came to us!
-he has taken out several loan's from banks, loan websites and other companies while using our address when he doesn't even live here anymore.
-he has falsely used mine and my siblings names for loans and other things!
What can we do about this?

Go to the police. You'll need to ensure that your own credit isn't adversely affected, and what he's done is criminal anyway.

TrinitySquirrel Fri 12-Jan-18 20:28:29

Police. It's fraud. They will also be able to trace him pretty quickly through his NI number and previous addresses.

You could always be sneaky and contact his new family on FB and ask for their address to forward post or family photos to him?

LivininaBox Fri 12-Jan-18 20:28:43

If he left 2.5 years ago then surely the 2 year period is up?

Can you find him through his work?

Tistheseason17 Fri 12-Jan-18 20:34:02

Yep. Fraud. Police

MrsMoastyToasty Fri 12-Jan-18 20:34:45

If his name is on the voter's roll at your DM address then get him taken off. It will impact on his ability to borrow money using her address.

BoomBoomsCousin Fri 12-Jan-18 20:36:41

Police regarding the fraud in your names.

You say she can proceed with a missing spouse divorce after 2 years, which it has now been, so she should be able to proceed with that. The steps for doing so seem to be laid out here: www.gov.uk/divorce-missing-husband-wife

I would probably also put all mail that comes to him at your address back in the post marked "Return to sender. Not known at this address." to try and cut back on his ability to use your address fraudulently.

Gemini69 Fri 12-Jan-18 20:47:03

Hi OP.. just wanted to add my heartfelt respect and hope with the chorus of voices on here.. and also recommend you go to the Police...

Your Mum deserves her new start flowers

ivykaty44 Fri 12-Jan-18 20:49:18

Is his name still on the electoral register then at your address? I thought any loan taken out was checked on register as living at the address - if he’s been gone two and a half years that would be back to September 15 so he shouldn’t be on the ER for 16 or 17

I would try and track him down without him knowing by whatever way possible

No one from any government agency is going to give out his address as they would face dismissal and a large fine, but there are other ways of finding where he lives.

Think about which area he is thought to live in and go from there, what type of work as to his work place.

As for the council not allowing the tenancy to swap from him to her? Was it a joint tenancy or just in his name? If he signed it over to her why is it a problem - not everyone is married so what would they do as they can’t prove a divorce?

justicewomen Fri 12-Jan-18 20:49:30

Als note you can apply for fee waiver if on very low income plus low savings www.gov.uk/get-help-with-court-fees

eddielizzard Fri 12-Jan-18 20:49:52

police about using your name falsely.

return post for him delivered to your address, don't open it.

pi for the address.

another divorce lawyer. this one sounds a bit wet.

good luck.

43percentburnt Fri 12-Jan-18 20:50:08

As pp said return post - write on it ‘moved from this address in July 2015’. Hopefully it will then be passed to the banks fraud team.

Advise the police and credit reference agencies that he is using your name fraudulently to apply for credit.

Ensure he has been removed from the electoral register.

ivenoideawhatimdoing Fri 12-Jan-18 20:50:17

Call the police before dodgy debt collectors turn up at your door or until you want to start forging your own life but can't due to bad credit.

ivykaty44 Fri 12-Jan-18 20:51:41

I know everyone is saying police

But if your mum wants a divorce and the police start on him - you may find he disappears further and your mum has no chance of divorce

Divorce first then police 👮‍♂️

Andrewofgg Fri 12-Jan-18 20:55:58

If you genuinely have no means of tracing the Respondent to a divorce petition the court can dispense with service. I have done it myself (professionally, not personally!) and it's not difficult. It needs a solicitor who knows the job.

Once service is dispensed with the divorce will go through like a dose of salts.

caringcarer Fri 12-Jan-18 20:56:03

Definately any mail that is addressed to him repost into box with has not lived at this address since xxxxx. Inform police you are worried he is using your name and siblings names fraudulently to gain loans. Contact your bank to ensure they do not release any of your funds to loans company.

wildbluebelles Fri 12-Jan-18 21:00:48

Hmmm....

Can you instruct an inquiry agent to get an address for him and then you can get somewhere to serve him?

Otherwise, it is actually possible to apply to court for service to be dispensed with if you have exhausted all avenues of trying to serve him.

I presume that by 2 years, your solicitor was referring to a total of 5 years separation, after which you can divorce someone without consent. 2 years separation requires consent so that will not be relevant here. However, even with 5 years separation, you still need to serve the petition so surely the same issues apply. You don't need consent to proceed on the basis of unreasonable behaviour so I don't see what difference waiting makes.

So yes, I would try to get a private detective to do some digging.

PyongyangKipperbang Fri 12-Jan-18 21:01:14

Do you have a rough idea of where he lives?

What about OW full name? Or her kids names? You can find out a lot tvia FB about roughly where someone lives. Then use 192.com to trace a street address (costs a little bit but much less than a PI would charge).

Look up all the names you know via all social media and google the names too, you will surprised what comes up. Also, if you get a town where he lives you can check the electoral register a local council offices or library. You can find him, but it will take a little bit of leg work, better that than having to wait another three years for the divorce though.

Speak to Shelter about the housing situation, I am sure that the council cant demand a divorce decree, what if they had never been married?!

GETTINGLIKEMYMOTHER Fri 12-Jan-18 21:03:02

Don't know whether it will help, but when we needed to trace someone who hadn't been seen or heard of for over 5 years (he was the freeholder of the LH flat we'd bought, and we wanted to buy the FH) we finally used a tracing service (aka private detective agency.) They traced him within about 10 days, even though he was living under another name.
I asked how they could be sure it was him (it was) and they just said, 'We have our methods.'
Worth a try!

Leeds2 Fri 12-Jan-18 21:26:47

Report him to the police for fraud.
Remove him from the electoral roll.
If any of the correspondence you are receiving is from banks/credit card companies, ring them up - and follow with an email - saying that he is not known at this address and that you dont have a forwarding address. You can usually tell which these letters are; if in doubt, I would open any letter addressed to him if you are concerned.

LaPampa Fri 12-Jan-18 21:38:21

I’m assuming the solicitor meant she’d need to wait 2 more years until 5 had passed so she could bring proceedings without his consent. You don’t always need to have his details but will have to show the court what steps you’ve taken to try and find him. As others say I’d try an inquiry agent first.

Grilledaubergines Fri 12-Jan-18 22:10:40

Divorce without consent of the Respondent is 5 years OP.

That aside, put every single bit of post back in the post box with "not at this address' or similar. Remove him from electoral roll. Contact police for advice.

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