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Missing

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meekhcs
Posts: 270
Joined: 02 Jun 2020, 18:19
Location: Lincolnshire, but Hampshire born and bred!

Missing

Post by meekhcs »

This is a general question as I cannot post details

If, in say the last 50 years, someone goes missing in the UK, how long would it be before someone is presumed dead, allowing the partner to remarry?

What is the process undertaken to arrive at the decision?

Where, if anywhere, besides newspapers, would I be able to find any records/information concerning the event/process etc.

Thanks everyone

[edited to notify me of replies]

Norfolk Nan
Posts: 176
Joined: 16 Jun 2020, 11:54
Location: A Londoner lost in Norfolk

Re: Missing

Post by Norfolk Nan »

I think it’s at least 7 years before family can apply for the person th be declared dead, what the requirements are I can’t say. But if the spouse remarried it would be useful to know how they described their marital status as a starter. Perhaps s/he divorced - I think you can do that after 5 years ‘abandonment’ without the other party needing to give permission but I’m not totally sure about that.

meekhcs
Posts: 270
Joined: 02 Jun 2020, 18:19
Location: Lincolnshire, but Hampshire born and bred!

Re: Missing

Post by meekhcs »

Thanks Nan

I have delved a little deeper. From the Missing People website it appears that after 7 years a person can be presumed dead if every attempt to find them has failed BUT a death cert is not issued, and lots of hoops have to be jumped through, each one costing money!

From the GRO website it seems a divorce can be granted after 2 years following desertion. I haven't found any evidence of one so far.

meekhcs
Posts: 270
Joined: 02 Jun 2020, 18:19
Location: Lincolnshire, but Hampshire born and bred!

Re: Missing

Post by meekhcs »

Actually reading on I don't think divorce is quite that simple in regards to a missing person. The two year rule is dependent on you knowing where your wife/husband is and can serve them with the petition. If you cannot do this,and it is returned unopened then, then you woyuld have to supply a presumtion of death cert. The GRO doesn't give a time frame for this so I presume we go back to the 7 year rule.

Can anyone confirm this please?

Norfolk Nan
Posts: 176
Joined: 16 Jun 2020, 11:54
Location: A Londoner lost in Norfolk

Re: Missing

Post by Norfolk Nan »

I’m not sure it’s possible to find details of a modern divorce - I’d be curious to know if there is. I know remarriages are indexed under the maiden name and again under the previous married name for females so all eventualities are covered for our research purposes.

I’d be interested to know what happened to the partner left behind. My grandparents separated during WW2 and granddad refused a divorce. Nan moved away, changed her name by deed poll and raised another family. When the divorce laws changed in the late 1960s she finally gained a divorce and remarried but it was a very long wait! Your missing person could be hiding in plain sight and what their ex-partner did next will give you a clue. Unlike Victorian times when bigamy was common, you now need to prove death or divorce if you want to marry again, I think.

Thunder
Posts: 184
Joined: 14 Jun 2020, 01:43

Re: Missing

Post by Thunder »

I think the 7-year-period is right but of course there are cases like Lord Lucan. The law in Scotland is I am sure different and I know that Scotland's People have a divorce index from 1984 but there are restrictions on access.

meekhcs
Posts: 270
Joined: 02 Jun 2020, 18:19
Location: Lincolnshire, but Hampshire born and bred!

Re: Missing

Post by meekhcs »

Nan wrote
I’d be interested to know what happened to the partner left behind.
The partner remarried. There are several marriages with the same name but the most obvious occurred more than 7 years after the disappearance.

Nan also wrote
I know remarriages are indexed under the maiden name and again under the previous married name for females so all eventualities are covered for our research purposes.
I did no know that, so I check marriages using maiden and married names but nothing showed up.

The other possibility that occurred to me is that the person travelled abroad. Whether or not records were checked for that I don't know, and the disappearance is a relatively recent event so there would be nothing online to check.

Thanks for your help and ideas.

Norfolk Nan
Posts: 176
Joined: 16 Jun 2020, 11:54
Location: A Londoner lost in Norfolk

Re: Missing

Post by Norfolk Nan »

I'm pretty sure that the post-1969 divorce rules allowed an uncontested divorce after 5 years apart even if the other party didn't give consent or accept served papers. I think current rules are even easier assuming there are no children or property involved. It surprises me there is no way to identify divorces but I suppose it doesn't concern the government beyond the general stats.

I'm assuming the missing person wasn't considered missing by the police and was 'location unknown'. Perhaps I've seen too many TV dramas but if reported and the police were concerned I think their name would pop up at passport control at ports or airports if a passport was used? I know that if someone doesn't want to be found but is located by police (or a charity) the family are told s/he is safe but doesn't want to be contacted. Unless there's reason to be concerned I think most missing adults aren't high priority with the authorities. The marriage of the former partner would be a good place to start assuming you can pinpoint it, of course.

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Guy
Posts: 90
Joined: 01 Jun 2020, 19:14
Location: Wakefield
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Re: Missing

Post by Guy »

You are asking two unrelated things here.
The husband does not have to be declared dead for a wife to remarry, she could divorce, but of course that may lead to inheritence problems .

For example my father left us in 1953, emigrating to Canada. In 1983 my mum decided to sue for divorce and after my siblings and myself had signed documents stating we had no knowledge of where he lived the divorce was granted.
If she had chosen to go down the declared death route it would be far more complex and expensive as there has to be a gap of 7 years and various searches have to take place.
Cheers
Guy
As we have gained from the past, we owe the future a debt, which we pay by sharing today.

AntonyM
Posts: 27
Joined: 15 Jun 2020, 12:44

Re: Missing

Post by AntonyM »

Norfolk Nan wrote:
18 Jun 2021, 17:21
I’m not sure it’s possible to find details of a modern divorce - I’d be curious to know if there is. I know remarriages are indexed under the maiden name and again under the previous married name for females so all eventualities are covered for our research purposes.
You can apply for a search for modern (i.e. post 1937) divorces through the court service, but can be expensive if you have no details at all:

https://www.gov.uk/copy-decree-absolute-final-order

Re-marriages are indexed under whatever names the parties use at the time of the marriage and that are included on the register entry. A woman might remarry in her maiden name or under her previous married name ( or another name entirely if she is using one), entirely her choice.

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