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Question

Good day all,
I just found out that my british husband whom we have been sepersted for over 18 months and haven’t spoken since then has finalised our divorce in England sine May 2018.

I live in Belgium since 2013 and still.. working fulltime.

Please what is the proceedure handing in the divorce papers to belgian authoritirs when I get a copy for myself? As I have requested a copy from the british authorities.
Also I have a F+ .. What could be go wrong with my status?

Any professional advise or any one with similar experience?

Thanks in advance

becasse

You leave me puzzled. You state that you have an F+ card, so you are a non-EU citizen who has acquired permanent resident rights in Belgium by virtue of being married to an EU-citizen resident in Belgium, and yet you say that your (ex-)husband has obtained a divorce in the UK. Divorces are supposed to be obtained in the country in which a couple last lived together, which, based on your F+ card, must have been Belgium.

Mar 17, 2019 17:04
Angelica

Hi Becasse,
Thank you for your reply. Yes he is British, we came Belgium in 2013 and was sepereated since 2018 since then he moved back to the UK and returned back his Belgium residence permit.. We barely communicate since then, till just two weeks ago I found out he has finalised the divorce in the uk court.

Now for as far as I know it is possible because he is a British national and a divorce can be done in a country where one couple resides and especially if seperation has stayed over a year.
My question is when I receive the certificate : what Could be the complications submitting it to the Belgian authorities? and how do I present the document in the english?

Mar 17, 2019 20:23
shortof

A divorce can be sought in the UK in the above circumstances, there is no obligation to divorce in Belgium. It is perfectly legal. Furthermore, it is actually possible for a spouse to divorce someone in the UK without the actual knowledge of the other person, if that other person does not receive any of the paperwork so cannot acknowledge it and therefore cannot contest, failure to contest means an easy divorce for the petitioner. Yep it happens.

Angelica, all you need to do is present the divorce certificate you obtain to your maison communale, possible they might be a little difficult and request a translation, you then check this certificate is accepted and that you are now registered as divorced, so ask for a new composition de menage.

Depending on timings, it's possible you might get a backdated date on your tax records which can be to your benefit.

Mar 17, 2019 20:27
shortof

Indeed Angelica has just confirmed she was divorced without her knowledge. I have personal knowledge of this happening.

Mar 17, 2019 20:29
Angelica

Then you for your helpful reply @SHORTOF

Mar 17, 2019 21:23
Angelica

...at the same time does anyone know what could happen to my resident status? My redident status which is an F+

Mar 17, 2019 21:35
shortof

F+ is permanent residence, suggesting you must have been already together / in Belgium for 5 years. I cannot remember absolutely from memory how many years a non EU spouse must be married before they keep the Eu treaty rights, but confident the + means it's long enough that you keep your rights. Met many F+ card holders now divorced.

You can google it or ask your maison communale / gemeentehuis.

Mar 17, 2019 22:08
kasseistamper

I am sceptical about this situation.
This is my personal experience.
When my wife and I met she was still married though estranged from her husband.
They had married in England though they had lived for many years in Belgium.
She moved in with me in England and applied for a divorce there - she was British and had married in UK. Her husband had no problem with this.
However, a divorce could not be granted in UK - even though both parties were in agreement - on the grounds that a divorce can only be granted in the country where the couple last lived as man and wife.
I think that you should take legal advice as it seems that your husband might have obtained a divorce in UK without revealing the full facts of your situation. You do not want to find that, in fact, the divorce is invalid.

Mar 18, 2019 12:40
anon

Angelica, I'm sure that this is a very difficult and trying time for you.

However, this just isn't true. You cannot be divorced and I would strongly advise you to go and see a lawyer and get some proper legal advice.

To be totally clear, there is absolutely no way you can have separated in 2018 and now be divorced in the UK without your knowledge. It just is not possible.

Also, the minimum separation time required for an uncontested divorce in the UK (and that is assuming that both parties agree, which is not the case here) is TWO years, not one.

Mar 18, 2019 17:57
shortof

It is the truth. A divorce can be granted to a British citizen who has married in the UK, has gone to live elsewhere and has then left their wife and gone back to the UK. It's part of English law. Furthermore, there is even a law that the legitimate son of an English born man can divorce in England, it's quite a bizarre one but it exists.

Furthermore, you can quite easily obtain a divorce in the UK if the recipient of the divorce petition does not respond, it can happen that post can get lost. The divorce petition and court papers don't even go registered post so it can easily get lost in the post (my case).

It would be possible in retrospect to challenge the validity of a divorce, when the person divorced without knowledge objects. Doesn't sound like the OP is bothered.

Mar 18, 2019 19:36

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