Divorce or end a civil partnership if your partner is missing

If you are married or in a civil partnership, you can get a divorce or dissolution if you do not know where your husband, wife or civil partner is or they’re presumed dead.

If you do not know where they are

The process might be quicker if you can find their current address. The ways you can do this include contacting their:

  • relatives (including children)
  • friends
  • last known employer
  • trade union or professional organisation

Fill in the divorce petition or dissolution application with their current, or last known, address. You’ll have to pay a £550 court fee.

If the petition or application is returned unopened

Your regional divorce centre will let you know if the divorce petition or dissolution application is returned unopened. You’ll need to try another way to send it to your partner. You can either:

You’ll have to pay a £50 court fee for each.

If you still cannot find them, you’ll have to fill in the statement to dispense with service of petition or application. Return the statement to your regional divorce centre. You’ll have to pay a £50 court fee.

If they’re presumed dead

If you have sufficient evidence that your partner has died, then you can fill in a petition for the presumption of death without sending a divorce petition or dissolution application.

You’ll have to pay a £365 court fee.

You can use a solicitor to advise you on what evidence you need to provide. Find a solicitor.

You can use the presumption of death petition to remarry or form a new civil partnership, but not to get a death certificate, financial order (‘ancillary relief’) or apply for probate.