x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

Remarrying while living in UAE? How to get decree absolute from UK

On your side: The National's resident advocate Keren Bobker has the answer.

I am getting married this year, but I need to provide a copy of my decree absolute to the British Embassy before I can get legal permission to remarry. My ex-husband divorced me after many years of separation and as we have not spoken for over eight years I no longer have any contact details for him and would actually prefer not to have any contact. Can you tell me where I can get a copy of the paperwork please? FE, Abu Dhabi

Britain’s Central Index keeps records of all decree absolutes (divorce papers and civil partnership dissolutions) granted in England and Wales, going back to 1858.

Contact the agency to obtain details of the divorce and a copy of the decree absolute. You will need to complete form D440 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, United Kingdom, (telephone: +44 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 £45 (Dh246) to pay for each 10-year period searched. This can be paid in cash in person or by cheque or postal orders, which 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. The D440 form can also be downloaded from http://hmcourts-service.com/ under “forms and guidance”, but it must still 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 a sealed or sealed and certified copy of the decree absolute and there may be a small additional fee of about £20.

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 the registry will write to that court on your behalf to instruct them to send you a copy.

A sealed and certified copy will be supplied only 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.