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    • 45012168
    • By 45012168 8th Apr 18, 9:58 PM
    • 54Posts
    • 2Thanks
    45012168
    Advice needed on separation/divorce!!
    • #1
    • 8th Apr 18, 9:58 PM
    Advice needed on separation/divorce!! 8th Apr 18 at 9:58 PM
    Hi there!

    My partner and I have been together for 8 years. We have had a religious marriage ceremony only that is not recognised in British law. We have 3 children together. We live together under common law. The problem is he is married from before however he has been separated and has no contact/communication with his ex-wife since the time we been together. By the way I did not break his house before the assumptions fly in, he had an arranged marriage he was not happy with. So anyway, he has not divorced her due to some stupid cultural issues (not his choice!).

    I recently found out that if you have been seperated more than 5 years then a divorce can take place without the other person or something. Is this possible? We want to be registered as married in British law however need this past headache sorted without any family involvement and issues! Iím sorry some of u probably thinking why canít he just send her a divorce but to put it simply he has been told he will be cut off from all his family and kids from before and neither of us want that kind of emotional setbacks or blackmail.

    Any advice would be great!
Page 1
    • 45012168
    • By 45012168 8th Apr 18, 10:01 PM
    • 54 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    45012168
    • #2
    • 8th Apr 18, 10:01 PM
    • #2
    • 8th Apr 18, 10:01 PM
    I would also like to claim my rights as his wife, rather than any complications (financial etc) that may arise in future which would give his ex wife the rights over me.
    • elsien
    • By elsien 8th Apr 18, 10:05 PM
    • 16,175 Posts
    • 40,879 Thanks
    elsien
    • #3
    • 8th Apr 18, 10:05 PM
    • #3
    • 8th Apr 18, 10:05 PM
    The divorce after 5 years is to do it without the consent of the spouse. It doesn't mean he can divorce her without bothering to tell her as she need to acknowledge the forms or he needs to demonstrate that they have been served.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • 45012168
    • By 45012168 8th Apr 18, 10:21 PM
    • 54 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    45012168
    • #4
    • 8th Apr 18, 10:21 PM
    • #4
    • 8th Apr 18, 10:21 PM
    I understand that she has to acknowledge it. Does it also mean she cannot dispute it or refuse to divorce any grounds? They have had no communication since last 8 years - they have separate finances etc and there is nothing to suggest she has any ground to refuse a divorce.
    • elsien
    • By elsien 8th Apr 18, 10:26 PM
    • 16,175 Posts
    • 40,879 Thanks
    elsien
    • #5
    • 8th Apr 18, 10:26 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Apr 18, 10:26 PM
    She can't refuse the divorce after 5 years (presuming it's a UK marriage?)
    https://www.gov.uk/divorce

    However you mention in your OP that he'll be cut off from his family and kids from before. So there will be financial arrangements to be made, potentially child maintenance etc - is he not already paying this? And won't the issues of the family objecting still apply? Not that that's a reason not to, but if he wouldn't divorce her before because of cultural reasons does that not still apply?
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • rach_k
    • By rach_k 9th Apr 18, 10:28 AM
    • 1,201 Posts
    • 2,042 Thanks
    rach_k
    • #6
    • 9th Apr 18, 10:28 AM
    • #6
    • 9th Apr 18, 10:28 AM
    Does his ex want to stay married or is it external pressure? She will have to be involved at some point so it might be worth him getting in touch with her and asking her whether she would like to divorce quietly without involving family. She might want to move on too! She can continue to use her married name, if she uses one, and any child maintenance can continue as before. I don't know how family/the local community would even find out if they were discreet about it.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 9th Apr 18, 10:45 AM
    • 29,116 Posts
    • 74,423 Thanks
    Mojisola
    • #7
    • 9th Apr 18, 10:45 AM
    • #7
    • 9th Apr 18, 10:45 AM
    My partner and I have been together for 8 years.

    We have had a religious marriage ceremony only that is not recognised in British law.

    We have 3 children together.

    We live together under common law.

    he problem is he is married from before
    Originally posted by 45012168
    There is no such thing as a common law relationship - you are just people sharing a house.

    If he hasn't got a water-tight will, there's a good chance his wife will inherit everything when he dies.

    Unless he has you down on his medical records as his next of kin, if he became very ill, his family could swoop in with his wife - who would be counted as his next of kin - and you could be completely shut out of any decision-making and even prevented from seeing him.
    • onomatopoeia99
    • By onomatopoeia99 9th Apr 18, 10:50 AM
    • 4,078 Posts
    • 9,159 Thanks
    onomatopoeia99
    • #8
    • 9th Apr 18, 10:50 AM
    • #8
    • 9th Apr 18, 10:50 AM
    Unless he has you down on his medical records as his next of kin, if he became very ill, his family could swoop in with his wife - who would be counted as his next of kin - and you could be completely shut out of any decision-making and even prevented from seeing him.
    Originally posted by Mojisola
    Doctors make decisions about treatment, not "next of kin", all they get to be is informed.

    A patient can nominate anyone to be kept informed by doctors on admittance and / or carry a card that states who they wish to be informed if they are not able to communicate this. e.g. https://www.royalfree.nhs.uk/patients-visitors/advice-and-support/next-of-kin/
    INTP, nerd, libertarian and scifi geek.
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    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 9th Apr 18, 12:04 PM
    • 29,116 Posts
    • 74,423 Thanks
    Mojisola
    • #9
    • 9th Apr 18, 12:04 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Apr 18, 12:04 PM
    Unless he has you down on his medical records as his next of kin, if he became very ill, his family could swoop in with his wife - who would be counted as his next of kin - and you could be completely shut out of any decision-making and even prevented from seeing him.
    Originally posted by Mojisola
    Doctors make decisions about treatment, not "next of kin", all they get to be is informed.

    A patient can nominate anyone to be kept informed by doctors on admittance and / or carry a card that states who they wish to be informed if they are not able to communicate this.
    Originally posted by onomatopoeia99
    That's what I said.

    Maybe hospitals vary but, as Dad's NOK, I was the one who was asked whether they should go ahead with operations that were possible and whether he should be resuscitated or not if the situation arose.
    • paddy's mum
    • By paddy's mum 9th Apr 18, 12:07 PM
    • 3,513 Posts
    • 12,670 Thanks
    paddy's mum
    She is not his 'ex-wife' and with three children and no matrimonial rights, you and your children are in an incredibly risky situation.

    Do his family not know of the existence of you and his children with you? If the worst happened and he suddenly dropped dead, would his family support you or cast you out into the world abandoned and alone?

    The best advice that anyone can give you is to seek competent legal advice. In my view, you cannot afford not to.

    Good luck.
    • gingercordial
    • By gingercordial 9th Apr 18, 12:19 PM
    • 1,131 Posts
    • 1,173 Thanks
    gingercordial
    Your partner needs to know that "divorce" has several steps.

    1. Legal ending of the marriage - yes, after five years of separation this can be done without the other spouse's consent, but of course they will know about it because they will be served paperwork. This would mean he was free to marry you.

    2. Financial split - the above would mean they are no longer married but does not sever any financial ties. That would mean if he won the lottery or had a big inheritance she could demand a share. If she can't work any more in the future she could ask the court to make him pay maintenance. If they own any property together that would not be split. She could have a claim on his pension etc. Therefore he also needs to ask for a financial settlement which will need her input as they will have to come to an agreement or else go to court to have it decided by a judge. You (as the new partner) really do not want him to miss this part out as even if you are married she could have a claim on his/your assets. So he's going to have to talk to her.

    3. The children - child maintenance and access should be agreed separately with their interests coming first.

    You're in a very precarious position as the new partner until all of the above is sorted out.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 9th Apr 18, 12:42 PM
    • 6,434 Posts
    • 8,323 Thanks
    TBagpuss
    Yes, your partner can divorce his wife even if she does not consent. She will need to be served with the paperwork and could delay matters if she does not cooperate.

    He will need to sort out financial issues which will take into account the financial positions that he and his wife are in now, not what the position was when they stopped living together.

    Until such time as he is able to finalise the divorce, you and he should make sure that you both have up to date wills, and that if you have a house together, that you are both on the deeds.

    Does his wife and children live in the UK? If so, then he will be able to apply to the courts for contact if she or her family try to prevent this. If she lives overseas then it would normally be the law of the country where the children live which would apply.

    However, if he is living in the Uk he would normally be able to start divorce proceedings here even if she does not live in this country.

    As others have said, in English law there is no such thing as a Common Law wife or husband, no matter how long you and he live together.
    • 45012168
    • By 45012168 9th Apr 18, 3:57 PM
    • 54 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    45012168
    His wife and kids live in the U.K. His wife is only not accepting a divorce because the person who does not want this to happen is his mother. It!!!8217;s her son and her niece who are married and because of cultural implications and other such crap she does not want that. His kids are all grown up, between 10-20. He just does not want to be the reason his mum cuts him out of her life. She is also ill and he doesn!!!8217;t want to make her more unwell. He just wants to keep the peace. We don!!!8217;t own a house or anything yet and neither does his wife.

    Any money we make is in my name, he doesn!!!8217;t keep any. His wife wouldn!!!8217;t be interested in taking any and he by choice will give to his kids but we have decided that of something happens to him, then I will be the one to split the money with his other kids. Would this all have to be written in a will or not? I speak to everyone in his family and we all get along but the !!!8216;divorce!!!8217; thing is something we all just accept and have left it, obviously with me being the main one who loses out.

    Can someone please explain what would happen in the event something happened to him? Can I still step forward to sign papers etc or would his wife have to, even though she wouldn!!!8217;t want to. She!!!8217;s not out to get revenge or anything o that sort.
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 9th Apr 18, 4:24 PM
    • 37,100 Posts
    • 156,292 Thanks
    silvercar
    He needs to write a will, in order to protect your interests. Also an LPA (health and financial).
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 9th Apr 18, 4:36 PM
    • 6,434 Posts
    • 8,323 Thanks
    TBagpuss
    He needs to write a will. If the assets are in your name then it is his wife and children who would be at risk of losing out, not you, if anything happened to him.

    If he doesn't make a will then it is his wife who would have the right to do things such as organise his funeral, and if her were incapacitated it would be hr, and then his parents, who would have the highest eligibility to apply to act as his deputy.

    Like any other unmarried couple, you should both make wills, and ensure that you are each shown as the other's emergency contact etc. If either is admitted to hospital then you can name the other as the person you would want to be told about / informed in decisions about you.
    • rach_k
    • By rach_k 10th Apr 18, 8:43 PM
    • 1,201 Posts
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    rach_k
    Just a thought - why is his mother okay with you being married to him in a religious ceremony but not legally? Does she see it as polygamy? If not, he should try talking to her, or can somebody else within the religious community mediate? People can be illogical idiots - if she has religious issues with divorce but is only 'making' them stay legally married, she's being stupid but might not realise. Sometimes, people confuse culture with religion but once it's pointed out to them what their religion actually says, they will put aside the cultural aspects in favour of the religion. Perhaps if you had a nice respectable old guy from your place of worship onside, she may listen to sense.

    I'm not saying that your husband should be doing what she wants - I personally think he should grow a pair and get the divorce - but I know that won't always happen!
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