How To Get Divorced Without An Address?
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Most divorce applicants believe that not knowing the address of their ex-partner doesn’t pose any problems when it comes to getting a divorce.
However, even since the introduction of no-fault divorce, this is sadly untrue.
Unfortunately, the divorce procedure becomes more complicated, time-consuming, and costly if you don’t know where your ex-partner lives.
In some cases, you may need to hire the services of a process server – someone who hand delivers notifications of impending legal processes to an individual or defendant involved in a court case.
This is one of several essential steps that can be taken to show the court that you have tried your utmost to find your ex-partner.
Can I get a divorce if I don’t know where my spouse is?
Not knowing where your spouse lives does not automatically mean you have to hire a lawyer and spend thousands of pounds on getting divorced.
It does mean that completing a DIY divorce is more complicated, time-consuming, and costly.
In short, you can get a divorce if you don’t know where your spouse is residing, but it does come with additional barriers and legal hurdles that you need to fulfill.
The cost of divorce will also typically be higher in comparison to an applicant who has an address for their ex-partner.
There are some additional steps and court procedures to deal with, but we are experts at handling what is often referred to as ‘no contact divorce’ – a divorce where you don’t know the address of your missing spouse.
We offer a Missing Spouse Divorce service for just £449 including VAT. Our fixed-fee service will save you over £1,000 compared to instructing a high-street solicitor!
For your divorce to be completed, the court requires that your spouse is either served with the divorce papers or you must prove that you have done everything possible to find them without success.
Therefore, before the court will grant you a divorce you are going to have to demonstrate that you have taken all reasonable steps to find an address for your missing spouse so they can be served with the divorce papers.
If you can find an address for a relative like a parent or a sibling, or even a close friend we advise you to do so as the divorce papers can sometimes be served with them if they are still in contact with each other.
Alternatively, given the rise in social media such as Facebook, it is now possible to contact or at least locate an absent spouse, even if you are not in personal contact with them.
Our friendly divorce advisers can advise you on your options and costs involved with this type of divorce in absentia.
Why do I need to locate my ex-spouse?
A marriage is based on a partnership so even if you have been separated for a number of years your ex-partner is still entitled to see a copy of the divorce papers, even with the no-fault divorce process.
The court will not grant you a divorce unless you have shown them that you have taken the required steps to try and locate your ex-partner so that they can be served with the divorce papers.
It goes without saying, but when you don’t have an address for your ex-partner, the typical timescale for a divorce will be exceeded due to the nature of your situation.
How else can I try and locate my partner’s address?
Social Media channels such as Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn can be a great way to find your ex-partner or other close family members as the majority of people now use these channels daily.
What If you can’t get an address for your husband or wife?
If your husband or wife has moved abroad and there is very little chance of you obtaining their address, the court will usually allow you to proceed with the divorce.
However, if they are living in the UK the court will want you to find the address.
There are 3 different options that may be relevant to your situation, which we have listed below to give you an idea of how each works.
1) Application for substituted service of the divorce petition
If you know where your spouse works, or where relatives live then you can ask the court for the divorce petition to be served on them instead.
You have to persuade the court that your spouse will become aware of the proceedings using this method, otherwise, you’ll need to follow a different step.
2) Application for a disclosure order from HMRC
If you have no contact with any of your spouse’s relatives, you can apply to the court for a disclosure order, but only if your spouse last lived in the UK.
This order is made against HM Revenue and Customs – you will need to provide your spouse’s date of birth, National Insurance number if you have it, and also their last known address.
HMRC will then look through their database and try to find an address for them. If they find an address they will write to the court and then send the divorce papers to that address.
If they do not respond, the divorce goes through without their consent.
3) Application to dispense with service of the divorce petition
If your spouse was a foreign national or there is no way of finding them or any relative, then you can apply to the court to dispense with service of the divorce petition.
As with all things, there are additional costs for doing this, and every time you make an application to the court it costs an extra £50 over and above the initial £593 for the divorce petition issue fee (as of Sept. 2021).
What divorce service can we offer you?
If you want to get divorced but don’t know where your spouse is, we can do that for you for a fixed fee.
You’ll receive a personal service with a dedicated and experienced case manager to take control of your case and ensure it is dealt with as quickly and efficiently as possible.
We will advise you of the best route to take based on your individual circumstances and our extensive experience.
Simply call us for a free consultation on 01793 384 029 and find out how to proceed with a divorce where you don’t have an address for your spouse.
You will find that a high-street solicitor will not usually deal with this kind of case under a fixed-fee arrangement. Family law firms will normally charge around £250 + VAT per hour – which can lead to a divorce bill of over £2,000 + VAT on average.