Every day ( near enough), we receive the question ” Do I have to go to court to get a divorce if we have been separated for 5 years or more?, surely it is just automatic?”
This appears to be one of the most common misconceptions with the general public, many of whom sincerely believe that you do not even need to go to court to get a divorce after 5 years.
Unfortunately it appears to be another urban myth, much like the common law wife myth that perpetuates the pubs and clubs of England every Friday night.
Divorce is never automatic and will still require you to file a divorce petition at a court, even after 5 years. The court also require that your spouse has the opportunity to defend a divorce petition because, believe it or not, people will lie to get a divorce.
So, to start you need to file the divorce and make sure your ex gets to look at the papers. Ah, you say, what happens if I cannot find my ex or they have moved abroad. Well then there are procedures you can use to ask the court to either dispense with the need for the petition to be served. These procedures are not very clear and not easy for a litigant in person to deal with. Of course the usual route would be to hire a lawyer, but that is going to set you back a lot of money, even if they only charge £50 an hour.
Quickedivorce can deal with this for you for a fixed fee of £299 + court fees, but we do not advertise it on our website as it is too complicated to go into any meaningful detail online. If you want to get a 5 year divorce but don’t know where your ex is, give us a call on 01793 384 032 and we can go through the procedure with you over the phone.