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UK Divorce - King's Proctor Intervention

UK Divorce - King's Proctor Intervention

Posted: 11 Feb 2013 11:26PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Knight
Hello,

In researching a family rumour of bigamy, I found a newspaper article that states: "in July, 1935, [Albert] Knight actually got decree of divorce against his wife at Winchester Assizes. Application had to be made for the decree to be made absolute after six months, but the King's Proctor intervened on account of some misconduct by the pursuer on a former occasion and the decree was not made absolute."

All rather intriguing! Albert remarried without receiving the decree absolute, and was tried for bigamy. I was wondering if there's any way of finding out what his misconduct might have been, and why this led to such an intervention. Were such events unusual?

Thanks,

Andy

Re: UK Divorce - King's Proctor Intervention

Posted: 12 Feb 2013 11:57AM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi,

This is from the National Archives:

In England and Wales suits for divorce and nullity are terminated in two stages: by a decree nisi which after an interval of six weeks may in general be made absolute.

This interval, which is useful for a number of reasons, also enables the Queen's Proctor to make inquiries into such suits, if it is suspected that the decree nisi has been improperly obtained because, for example, material facts have not been brought to the notice of the court.

Any person who has relevant information may supply this to the Queen's Proctor whose duty it is to enquire into the matter.

The Queen's Proctor may take steps to show cause why a decree nisi should not be made absolute, or he may at an earlier stage of the proceedings and with the leave of the court intervene in the suit.

The Divorce Court itself has power to refer cases to the Queen's Proctor for inquiry, and in suits where difficult points of law arise the court may ask for the assistance of the Queen's Proctor to present legal argument. This last procedure is most useful where a legal problem arises in an undefended suit and it may not be possible to obtain full legal argument in any other way.

So it sounds on the face of it that he had not fully disclosed all the facts to the court.

Records are available at the National Archives and are subject to the 75 year rule. Here is the reference if you want to follow it up.

S 29 Title:

HM Procurator General: Registers of Divorce Cases
Description:

Registers containing epitomes of matrimonial cases in which HM Procurator General has shown why a decree nisi should not be made absolute, or has intervened or assisted the Divorce Court as amicus curiae.

The numbers in the volumes indicate the related files.
Date: 1875-1977 Related Material: The main series of divorce files are in J 77

Held by: The National Archives, Kew Legal status: Public Record Language: English Physical description: 17 volume(s) Access conditions: Subject to closure for periods up to 75 years

Hope this helps

Regards

Eveline

Re: UK Divorce - King's Proctor Intervention

Posted: 27 Feb 2013 4:58PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 28 Feb 2013 1:43PM GMT
Hi Eveline,

Sorry for the late reply. Thank you - that looks very helpful. I'll see if I can obtain a record from the archives - the 75 year rule should have expired for this.

Thanks,

Andy
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