I married a woman in Ukraine in 2016,and brought her to the UK on a spouse visa in early 2018. I am a British citizen. We spent a total of 20 days together before marriage,and after she arrived here we spent 3 weeks living together in rented accommodation.
After a few weeks I became suspicious of her real motives for being in the UK. To circumvent UK visa rules and be able to get indefinite leave to remain in the UK,and legal aid for it,plus legal aid for divorce,she made an allegation of domestic abuse against me. It was unproven and no action was taken,but I knew what she was doing and left,I haven't seen her since-2 years ago.
I have now petitioned for divorce,all I have is an address I believe she is having mail forwarded from. I don't know where she is.
I live in a rented house,have no savings and a low income,a £400 car.
In 2003,I bought a house using money my Mother put in,mortgage in my name,but my Mum has lived in it ever since with her partner. They pay rent that covers the mortgage each month,I make no profit on it. It's also under a deed of trust drawn up at the time,so all monies are my Mother's.I have never lived in it.
Bearing in mind we only lived together in the UK 3 weeks,have no joint finances,and she contributed zero financially at any point,will she be able to claim much again me in divorce?
I was used for a visa,basically,and this has happened to many others. The foreign spouse uses the British legal system to their advantage and gets legal aid.
If she doesn't respond to the divorce petition, you may have to apply for deemed service.
As far as the finances go, this is a very short marriage and your assets appear to be very limited so I cannot see how a claim for capital or maintenance could succeed. Not sure how you stand ref immigration and any undertaking you may have made to support her but I think that's a separate matter.
There is a continuing claim as long as you don't have a legally binding financial settlement which can be made after Decree Nisi. If you cannot contact her to make an agreement, you would need to make an application to the court for financial remedy. Every effort must be made to make sure she is aware of the proceedings - you have to demonstrate this to the judge. If she still doesn't engage the judge can eventually grant a Clean Break order. It will normally take two to three hearings to get to that stage.
If funds are limited you may want to call our helpline to see if how we can help.