In 1999 my French wife and I separated after marrying in the UK three years earlier. In 2000 she petitioned for divorce but that's as far as the proceedings went and according to the Central Index of Decrees Absolute we are still married and the 2000 divorce proceedings are still in place. I haven't seen or heard from my estranged wife since March 2000 although I do know she returned to live in France as stated in the divorce petition.
I now want to marry my long term girlfriend. I have made every reasonable attempt to try to find my estranged wife but without success including writing to her last known address and writing to her family. I have also used the internet to search social networking sites and other relevant databases.
What is the best course of action? So far I know about the following but don't really understand the purpose of each option:
1. Since I can't find my estranged wife then I could petition for divorce with an accompanying Statement in Support of a Request to Dispense with a Service (D13B). Does this mean that if the judge is satisfied that I have made reasonable attempts to find my wife the judge will grant a divorce in her absence?
2. Sheffield County Court, where my wife petitioned for divorce in 2000, advised me to submit a D11 form to ask a judge to dispense with the 2000 divorce petition. I've downloaded this form but don't understand what's for or how to complete it.
Any help and advice would be really appreciated as I can't really afford the expense of a lawyer although I do appreciate that this may be the only option.