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Advice on ending an estranged marriage

Advice on ending an estranged marriage
May 26, 2020 06:58PM

I would like some advice on how to proceed in ending the formal element of the relationship between me and my wife. I will provide the following details in brief.

- We married relatively young whilst still students (both 25 years old).
- I had issues with her laziness and general outlook and left after five years of marriage.
- We lived separately for four years; still continuing a sexual relationship but not cohabiting.
- I remained faithful throughout but (arguably) she did not.
- I ended the sexual side of our relationship and moved abroad to get away from it all.
- After a year abroad, I found permanent work and accommodation. I called her from abroad to request that we divorce. She agreed. I did the application but it was refused before going to court due to an error on the online form; they didn’t explain what. I was not in a financial position to do the application again (another 700 euros). She emailed earlier this year to say that she would do the application herself, and also that she was pregnant (not mine; I have only returned home to visit my mother and sister and did not see her). She has also moved address and seems reticent to provide the new address; she has mine and so I have actually told her by email that she is now the only person that can do it. I said that I would wait for paperwork in the post but nothing so far.

We have no children together and no shared assets. Her family is very wealthy (mine not) and for me it is just about cutting the final tie and moving on. I never wanted to get married in the first place in large part due to her tempers and mood swings which she was very open about but unwilling to do anything about. She assured me that if we married she word sort it out, as well as looking for work; none of that happened and in the end I had to leave for my own sanity—despite going through hell.

I am now a freelancer / consultant and my income is variable. I could really do without the 700 eu, and besides I do not have an address.

On this summary of information, can I somehow end this sham of a marriage and seek freedom?

I have proof that she has had an extramarital relationship (finally), and also have proof that she has told at least one member of her family that her baby is “ours”—which is not possible. Her family will be supporting her financially as she does not work and I doubt the father will step up. I would like to be exempted from her manipulations and string-pulling going forward. How do I do it?

[I still have not had any relationships and don't feel that I can until I finally cut all ties possible, if that makes sense].
Re: Advice on ending an estranged marriage
May 27, 2020 11:05AM
You say that you both got married when you were 25 but you do not say how long you have been married. I suspect it is quite a long time and that could be significant. I would suggest that you find out exactly what happened to your divorce petition for a couple of reasons. First, you have already paid the fee and most mistakes can simply be corrected. Most mistakes just cause significant delay rather than being fatal. Second, depending on the exact status of the divorce petition you issued it may not be possible to issue another until the first has been formally dismissed (which is unlikely to have happened). You do need to find out exactly what has happened.

If your wife has a habit of manipulation and string pulling as you suggest then I do not think you can rule out some sort of financial claim on her part. Incidentally, if she does issue a divorce petition I doubt that you will be saving yourself 700 euros because there is a strong probability that she will ask in the divorce petition that you pay her divorce costs.
Re: Advice on ending an estranged marriage
May 27, 2020 12:57PM
Thank-you. My first divorce petition was rejected; I don't know why. They refunded the money a couple of months after I had received the notification that it had not been accepted. It was a while back (2017), and I remember that there was a mention that one of the names was misspelled.I thought this strange but was shortly after inundated with work and did not look into it. We can assume that the first application is no longer valid; it is no longer on the system when I search for it.

I am 37 so we have been married for 12 years. We have not seen each other since early 2016 and have not spoken since we decided to get a divorce in September 2017. I did the application shortly after.

I will call the divorce service and found out what the problem was, as you suggest.

I would be quite annoyed if she made any financial claim. I left because she was lazy, and was responsible for most of the housework whilst simultaneously studying and working. She could claim for reduced earnings on the basis of looking after the family home; but I literally had to push her out of the door to find her even a part-time job the year before I left.

As I do not have her address, I have read that I can file for it without knowledge or consent.
Re: Advice on ending an estranged marriage
May 27, 2020 01:57PM
I've just spoken to the divorce service and there is a record of an application from me (2018, not 2017) rejected because I did not fill out the information of the petitioner and respondent adequately. As I say, the money was refunded.

Is there a way to pay for a divorce / divorce application over a given period? I have regular work+ consulting work but 550 would hit me hard in one go.

As I do not have her address, the divorce service suggested providing national insurance numbers. Not sure I have hers.
Re: Advice on ending an estranged marriage
May 27, 2020 02:33PM
If they have refunded the court fee that suggests that there are no longer any divorce proceedings that need to be dismissed. There is no reason why you cannot issue divorce proceedings immediately and you would be wise to do so as soon as possible. The courts do not have any facility to pay court fees by instalments so if you want a divorce any time soon you need to resolve this. You do not need the respondent's address in order to issue a divorce petition because a divorce petition can be served in many ways such as by email. However, if you do not have her address the process will undoubtedly take longer because you will first need to obtain the court's permission to serve a divorce petition by email if that is what you intended to do. Please note, though, that there are various ways of serving a divorce petition. If you are going to issue the petition yourself it is up to you to work out the best and how exactly to do it.

Whether you like it or not this is a marriage which has lasted 12 years. That may well give your wife the right to make various financial claims regardless of how lazy you think she may have been.
Re: Advice on ending an estranged marriage
May 27, 2020 04:35PM
Can you explain ways of serving a divorce petition? I only know filing it online or by paper. (as I do not have an address, i think it will have to be by paper).

With regards to payment, there is a company that accepts PayPal credit; however my PayPal is in France and credit is not available here--and given the current economic prospects suspect it will stay like that. With what I have available and the uncertainty in the world today it would be dumb to spend 550 on it immediately. I appreciate there is a risk of her making demands for financial reimbursement if she were to petition; but from an ethical or moral perspective, that would be mad as her family owns property across her country of origin, and my family has nothing. I have my bank balance and that is it.

I might be in a better situation in the near future but at the moment have to make sure I'm paying the rent with a bit spare in case one or more of my main clients call it a day through no fault of their own.
Re: Advice on ending an estranged marriage
May 28, 2020 10:31AM
>>Can you explain ways of serving a divorce petition?

That is a subject more appropriate to a text book than to a post here. The means of deemed and substituted service are as infinite as the circumstances of individuals.

Whether you think it would be mad or not I think there is a high probability that if your wife issues a divorce petition she will claim costs from you because it is only a matter of ticking a box to make the claim.
Re: Advice on ending an estranged marriage
May 31, 2020 08:45PM
thanks for your help and advice so far.

with regards to your comment on the potential for financial claims on her part, can you clarify a bit about what they would likely be; if she were to tick the box? she knows I am not well off and using me to pay for her first child with another man I think would even go beyond her boundaries of reasonable human behavior. although in the back of my mind I am thinking it is a possibility. she did mention in an email that she has decided to no longer accept money from her parents just before deciding to have a baby outside of marriage. I didn't ask why. they have always had quite a rocky relationship, though she is set to inherit a lot in due course.

anyway, any light you can shed on the topic would be useful.
Re: Advice on ending an estranged marriage
June 01, 2020 10:51AM
How much her divorce costs amount to will depend upon whether she conducts the divorce herself and whether she uses a solicitor. If she uses a solicitor then solicitors' charges vary. I really don't it is useful to speculate about it. I was simply pointing out to you that you cannot be sure that you will avoid paying any divorce costs if your wife issues a divorce petition.
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