x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Cost of a fresh start, transfers and tuition fee

Have a problem? Been treated unfairly? Our consumer advocate is on the case for you.

I am getting married later this year, but will need to provide a copy of decree absolute. The problem is that my ex-wife divorced me while in the UK after several years of separation, and as we have not spoken for more than 10 years, I do not know where she is or how to start tracking her down. I would also prefer not to have contact with her. Can you find out how I can get a copy of the paperwork? SA Abu Dhabi The Central Index keeps records of all decrees absolute (divorce papers and civil partnership dissolutions) granted in England and Wales since 1858. You can contact them to obtain details of a divorce and a copy of the decree absolute. You will need to complete a D440 form and send it to: The Principal Registry of the Family Division, Decree Absolute Search Service, First Avenue House, 42-49 High Holborn, London, WC1V 6NP, UK, Tel: 0044 20 7947 6000. The required form can be obtained from this address, or if you are in the UK, you can attend in person. There is a fee of £40 (Dh232.6) to pay for each 10-year period or part thereof searched. For example, if you wish a 13-year period to be searched (1988 to 2000 inclusive), the fee would be £80.

You can pay your fee by cash, cheque or postal order. Cheques and postal orders should be made payable to "Her Majesty's Courts Service" or "HMCS". You should write your full name and address on the back of any cheque and it is not advisable to send cash through the post. If you go the website of HMCS (www.hmcourts-service.gov.co.uk) you can do a search for form D440 and print it off. It must be submitted by post.

In the case of a successful search where the divorce proceedings are found to have taken place in the "Principal Registry of the Family Division", you will also receive with your certificate a sealed or sealed and certified copy of the decree absolute. If the divorce took place other than at that court, you will be notified of the name of the court and the case number, and they will write to that court, on your behalf to instruct them to send you a copy of the decree absolute. A sealed and certified copy will only be supplied if you state in your application that the decree absolute is required in connection with matters outside of England and Wales. If there is no trace of a decree having been granted, you will be issued with a "no trace" certificate. If, for any reason, the search is unsuccessful the fee is not refundable

I want to send money to someone in Bangladesh who does not have a bank account. Do you know of a safe way this can be done? KV Dubai As far as I am aware you have two main choices. One is to use Western Union, and the other to use an international money order service as operated by most post offices worldwide. Western Union has thousands of agents in hundreds of countries so most people are not too far from an office.

The money transfer system is straightforward. You need to complete the form confirming the amount to be sent, the full name of the person it is being sent to and provide identification (usually a passport). You will then be given your personal money transfer control number, which is the reference required by the recipient. The transfer is almost immediate depending on opening hours. The person collecting the funds will need to provide the senders first and surnames, the place and country the monies were sent from, the amount and the money transfer control number. The recipient should also supply their own name, address and telephone number and identification. They will then receive the cash in their home currency. Western Union agents will have information regarding the exchange rates offered on that day and charges are inclusive.

Emirates Post offers an international money order service available over the counter. The customer completes a money order form and pays the amount to be transferred. The money order is sent to the overseas destinations in US dollars (at a fixed rate of 3.683) and paid out to the addressee in their country's local currency at any post office, usually on the same day. The recipient should provide proof of identity and the reference number given to the sender. There is a charge of Dh3 per transaction plus 0.5 per cent of the value of the amount sent.

I will be moving to Dubai in July and am looking at schools for my three children. Before I can confirm a place, despite not even being in the country, I am being asked to pay a fee. Is this permitted? F Brighton,T UK All schools appear to charge a registration fee and in some cases this is quoted as several thousand dirhams, although article 52.2 of the Private Education bylaw from the Ministry of Education states that this deposit or registration fee should not be more than five per cent of the total fees with a maximum of Dh500 per child. This means that a school can charge either five per cent of the school fees or Dh500 - whichever is lower. This deposit is then subtracted from the school fees if the child joins, but is not refunded if the student does not join the school.

I live in Sharjah under my husband's sponsorship and my visa states: "housewife - not permitted to work". I would like to take up a part-time job, but how can I do this legally? NA Sharjah You may take up employment provided your husband provides you with a No Objection Certificate, essentially a letter, addressed to your future employer. The employer will then provide you with a labour card. Have a problem? If so, e-mail Keren Bobker at onyourside@thenational.ae

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai. She can be reached at keren@holbornassets.com