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is this legal

(26 Posts)
cannotseeanend Wed 03-Jun-15 16:55:53

Any legal experts here?

My husband managed to divorce me. I do not live in the UK but in EU. He lives in the UK.
I was never served with a divorce petition. I was however served with a decree nisi then decree absolute. I objected to the English court that it was farcical to serve a decree nisi on someone who has never received a divorce petition. I got silence as response. I have written several times but never any response.

Am I therefore legally divorced?

FarOverTheRainbow Wed 03-Jun-15 17:14:32

I'm no expert but I think if it has been a certain amount of time one party can divorce he other without their consent

FarOverTheRainbow Wed 03-Jun-15 17:15:56

I'm no expert but I think if it has been a certain amount of time one party can divorce he other without their consent

FarOverTheRainbow Wed 03-Jun-15 17:17:09

I'm no expert but I think if it has been a certain amount of time one party can divorce he other without their consent

cannotseeanend Wed 03-Jun-15 17:42:11

it was 6 months after leaving me

FarOverTheRainbow Wed 03-Jun-15 17:50:21

Sorry for all the posts. 6 months doesn't seem right but like I said I'm no expert. I believe that it's more like 5 years. Is it possible for you to contact a solictor yourself for advice?

Foreverconfused Wed 03-Jun-15 17:53:16

It used to be 5 years separated you can divorce without their consent. Do you think he forged your signature ? (If that's possible , I dont know how the divorce procedure works ).

cannotseeanend Wed 03-Jun-15 18:01:07

With what do I pay a solicitor? I have nothing. I don't live in the UK and no-one will help me. The cheapest solicitor I ever found wanted a minimum of £500 up front.

I wrote to courts. They just ignore me.
I am told "we only have 1 judge, the other retired, there is too much work". So does that mean someone can fail to serve a divorce petition but be allowed to be granted a decree nisi and when the wife gets the nisi and objects, that this is ignored, ignored and ignored again.

Bellemere Wed 03-Jun-15 19:45:26

What is the point of fighting it exactly? If he went with unreasonable behaviour or adultery he wouldn't have needed your permission.

cannotseeanend Wed 03-Jun-15 20:11:16

Yes he committed adultery.
Perhaps I consider not lying and respecting law as important.

Does anyone know if it legal?

Schoolaroundthecorner Wed 03-Jun-15 21:21:01

Do you know what grounds he used, I can't understand how he got the papers issued so quickly without your agreement, were there no financial considerations to be agreed or is that being dealt with separately?

Any reason to think, as someone already suggested, that he forged your signature on the documents, can you get copies of what was submitted?

Schoolaroundthecorner Wed 03-Jun-15 21:24:43

I think if you reposted this in chat you'd get more responses and be more likely to catch the attention of someone who knows what the legal position is to help.

cannotseeanend Wed 03-Jun-15 21:34:44

I know what happened to the divorce petition. It is sitting in an EU bailliff's office as they never served the papers. It's not that he failed to try to serve them, it's that they never actually made it to be served. I don't live at this baillifs and I only found out what happened later. This same baillifs did serve the decree nisi properly. I informed court. Silence.

The petition for divorce, I found out only at decree nise, was placed with court 6 months after leaving me, but he stated he left me 2 years earlier. I again informed the court, once I had the nisi, that this was not the case, that I had a mass of financial evidence, photos, witness statements, that my husband certainly didn't leave me 2 years earlier, only 6 months earlier, in fact I think it was 5 months earlier plus a few days.

There was no FDR? hearing either, I was told that it was decided at a first hearing which I knew nothing about, and it's on record that no service informing me of first hearing happened. I asked court why. They told me "the judge decided that's the way it is". I objected. Silence.

It is very hard to cope self representing and also not living in UK. The court just ignored correspondence over and over. I know they are over worked. The staff fully admit much correspondence was lost.

So the absolute was declared, despite my written objections, 12 months after he left me, the final hearing was 20 months after he left me. It was then because my husband refused to complete questionnaire, narrative, refused to complete his financial disclosure. So adjourned over and over till he complied.

What I am asking, was it legal that I never was served with a divorce petition? I was served with a nisi and absolute and the divorce petition I assume is buried somewhere in that bailliff's office. Since I never received any paperwork regarding it, I have no idea what is written on it, but I know it exists, as the court staff told me it did.

I would just like to know if it is legal to allow a decree nisi to be served? Is it legal that a court can ignore objections of a spouse? I objected to the lie of the date he left me. Sorry, I just believe you should not lie.

MooseBeTimeForSummer Wed 03-Jun-15 21:39:40

He has to have satisfied the court that you were served with the papers. Normally, you returning the Acknowledgment of service would do this. His next step should have been for you to be personally served. That person would then have filed a statement with the Court.
Although there appears to be a divorce, finances will not have been sorted. Are there any assets?
You only have to be married for 12 months to start divorce proceedings. He'll probably have cited adultery or unreasonable behaviour by you.

MooseBeTimeForSummer Wed 03-Jun-15 21:42:30

I can't see how it was able to proceed if the Bailiff never filed a Statement to confirm you had been served with the Petition.

MooseBeTimeForSummer Wed 03-Jun-15 21:43:59

A petition for two years separation would have required your consent to proceed. Very odd

cannotseeanend Thu 04-Jun-15 07:03:22

The finances were settled a few weeks ago - he got all the savings 37%, I got the family home 63%. But when I tried to voice my opposition to the divorce in court and lack of petition served, I was told this was not the place to do so, the hearing was about finances, not about the non serving of divorce petition. I have many times written to the court telling them I received no divorce petition. Before and after the final hearing.

I have proof the bailliff failed to serve the divorce petition.

I have been told 3rd hand my unreasonable behaviour - he beat me up, I told him he was evil. I bet he left out the fact he beat me up.

He admitted under oath at final hearing he is being treated for severe paranoia and personality problems. He's like Bruce Jenner you could say.

I just want to know if it is legal to be able to obtain a divorce, without serving a petition.

I have tried and tried to self represent and get nowhere. It is very difficult to do it.

Bellemere Thu 04-Jun-15 07:40:53

But what is the point? What do you hope to gain here? Surely best case is they declare the divorce wasn't legal and he just does the whole thing again? Nobody cares if the unreasonable behaviour is true or not.

Penfold007 Thu 04-Jun-15 07:51:04

What do you hope to achieve by reversing the divorce? Do you want to stay married to an adulterer who doesn't love or respect you? You been awarded two thirds of the marital assets so are unlikely to get anymore. Surely you beef is with your local bailiff?

PeruvianFoodLover Thu 04-Jun-15 08:01:51

If the OP or her ex have or do remarry, it makes a significant difference as to whether the divorce was legal or not.
Throw a couple of DCs with new "spouses" into the mix, and it creates an real mess.

I can't help you with your legal query but entirely understand your desire to resolve this appropriately.

cannotseeanend Thu 04-Jun-15 08:24:50

I just want to know if it is legal. I really don't want any opinions. For me it matters greatly that whilst hospitalized abroad, in a foreign court this man got a possible invalid divorce.

I don't want any more assets. I offered less and the judge gave me more.

For me, respect for law is actually important. Maybe not for others, but for me it is.

My husband is infertile thankfully, he cannot reproduce! Yes PeruvianFoodLover, I think you've managed to understand my concerns. I don't understand people who like to make life complicated and who create these messes.

I made absolutely no mention of trying to reverse the divorce. If my husband wishes to divorce me to be like Bruce Jenner, then so be it. But I think the law should be followed. How on earth do I get closure when I have great suspicions that in fact that the divorce is invalid. And what do I tell the kids when they are adults? What about inheritance? What about validity of the current wills? I feel this could be a massive legal headache in future and wish to follow the law.

Schoolaroundthecorner Thu 04-Jun-15 09:18:25

Yes I agree this should be sorted to avoid any potential legal issues in the future. Anyone know if any of the regular posters on mumsnet are solicitors dealing with UK divorces? Could they be pm'd even to see if they can point the OP in the right direction to pursue this? I just think this post might not be visible to those with any expertise in the area if this area of the site isn't well trafficked.

Bellemere Thu 04-Jun-15 21:23:14

OP you probably need to report your post and ask for it to be moved to legal.

ConnortheMonkey Thu 04-Jun-15 21:35:01

You can proceed with a divorce without serving it but you have to demonstrate that either you have served the petition or you have made every reasonable effort to locate and serve. He would have needed to make an application to dispense with service and shown the efforts he had made to trace you.

So yes, if he was granted permission to dispense with service the divorce is legal.

Like everyone else, not sure what you hope to achieve. You are divorced, presumably you don't want to still be married or accept it is not possible, the finances have been resolved, perhaps some counseling to try and move on? It sounds like the whole experience of being a litigant in person from abroad was very traumatic and you should not have been ignored but I think you need to find a way to let that go.

ConnortheMonkey Thu 04-Jun-15 21:37:01

Also, a decree absolute is valid until set aside so even if e.g. your signature had been forged on an acknowledgement form the divorce would be valid unless you decided to take some steps to have if set aside. If the petition was sent to a foreign bailiffs office it sounds like they couldn't locate you and so he applied to dispense with service and stated he had taken every reasonable step to locate you.

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