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How to divorce someone you haven’t seen in years

A far greater number of married couples separate – only to remain married indefinitely – than anyone would reasonably expect. As a result, people regularly contact Quickie Divorce and ask us how they can divorce a spouse they’ve not seen or spoken to in several years.

In response, we inform them that whilst it’s possible to obtain a divorce without knowing their spouse’s whereabouts, it’s significantly easier if they do and they should therefore try the following:

  • Contact their family or friends

If you’re still in contact with or are able to contact any of your spouse’s friends, family, colleagues or anyone else, it’s worth getting in touch with them to see if they can put you in touch with them.

Once common hurdle people face here is convincing people to hand over the contact details they need but several people have informed us that they achieved their goal by instead providing mutual friends or family with their details and asking them to pass them on to their spouse and ask them to get in touch.

  • Check the electoral/open register

If your former spouse is registered to vote and still live in your local area, you’ll be able to find their current address by contacting your local Electoral Registration Office. You can find yours by clicking here.

  • Hire a private detective

In the event that neither of the above bear fruit, your best chance lies with a private detective.

The good news here is that they shouldn’t need any information you’re unlikely to have. Generally, they’ll need your spouse’s name, their date of birth and an old address. The bad news is that their industry isn’t regulated so we’d recommend that you do your research on any individual and/or organisation you’re considering before instructing them.

But can you get a divorce if you can’t find your spouse?

In the event that you’re unable to locate your spouse, you can still obtain a divorce, but you must formally ask that the court allow you to do so. In order to make such a request, you’ll have to apply for a divorce as usual and provide the last address you possess for your spouse. If this is returned to you unopened, then you can resubmit your documents to the court along with a completed Statement to Dispense with Service of a Divorce Petition and a fee of £50.

Within this form, you’ll need to outline everything that you’ve done in order to try and locate your spouse and your divorce application will be allowed to proceed without your spouse’s knowledge if the courts are satisfied with these efforts.

Did this post answer your question? If you still need information about divorce in the UK click on the link to contact our team of advisers today.


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