Deciding on getting a divorce can be a difficult first step towards moving on in life but what if your spouse decides to ignore your divorce papers?
An article which appeared in the Mail recently highlighted how Cold Play lead singer Chris Martin ignored his wife Gwyneth Paltrow’s divorce papers for a full nine months. For anyone who wants to end their marriage as soon as possible a nine month wait is not something most people will be patient enough to consider.
So what are the options?
You have four options in total if you are confident that all usual attempts to contact your spouse are unsuccessful. They are as follows:
This involves asking a court bailiff to serve the papers on your behalf. You will need to fill in a D89 form and include a recent picture and description of your spouse.
If you can find evidence that your spouse has responded to your papers in some way it can be used as evidence and filed at court. You will need an application notice Form D11.
Application for service by an alternative method or at an alternative place
You can serve the papers at an address where you are confident that your spouse will receive them (at their parents for example). You will need to fill in an application form D11 to use this method.
Application to dispense with service.
If all avenues are exhausted and you still cannot get a response from your spouse, then you can use an Application to Dispense with service. 2 forms are required for this, a D11 and a D13B.
Divorce mediation is a process where couples can attempt to sort out their differences outside the courtroom with the help of an independent professional.
While mediation isn’t suitable for cases where domestic violence or abuse is the reason for couples divorcing, it can provide a way to resolve disputes and possibly save money. When couples are fist informed of the opportunity for mediation in their cases, the first reaction is that it will be some sort of marriage guidance service. This is not the case in divorce mediation because the assumption is that the relationship has irretrievably broken down.
Divorce mediation is focused on the practicalities of divorce including what happens with the children, the house and finances following divorce.
To get the best out of mediation couples should be open to keeping lines of communication open and be willing to compromise on the more difficult aspects of separation. Mediation is particularly useful if you want to reduce the impact on children.
Lengthy court battles over finances, custody and assets can have a profound impact on the wellbeing of all concerned and good communication should help speed up the process of separation and divorce which will be better for all concerned.