Divorce: what if my ex refuses to engage?
Dave Harries (Communicate TV): Judith, if you are going through a divorce but your partner, your ex-partner is living abroad and they simply refuse to kind of get involved, to engage, what can you do about that?
Judith Buckland: Well it is no different from if that happened in this country, so if there was a respondent in this country who refused to engage, there are things the Court can do and ultimately, the Court can make an order. What the important thing that they need to check is, that that person is aware, because they don’t want to make any orders without giving that person an opportunity to come to Court and have their say. So, it doesn’t really make any different whether they are in England or anywhere in the else in the world, we would need to make sure that that person was aware of the proceedings. If they choose not to take part in the proceedings, the Court would ultimately deal with the matter without their input.
Dave Harries: So Kate, presumably there has to be evidence then that you made efforts to inform them and engage them and all that sort of thing.
Kate Butler: There are some formal rules of Court about what serving somebody with notice of a hearing actually will entail and that can differ depending on which country they are in, but these days the Courts are moving forwards and there is a big drive to make the Courts more modern and more accessible and that includes things like often having video conferencing facilities. We can very regularly have telephone hearings so if the difficulty with the other person engaging is because they don’t want to travel, they can’t afford to travel, then there are very practical ways that we may be able to help people get around those difficulties.