A mother is desperately trying to get her husband declared legally dead after he disappeared while diving last year.
Rosie Moss, 37, from Faversham in Kent, has been trying to escape the ‘claustrophobic bubble’ of grief she has experienced since her husband Ben Moss disappeared at sea.
The devoted father went scuba diving along the Kent coast in March and never resurfaced, leaving Rosie to raise their three young children alone.
And now the grieving mother has been left in financial limbo and is unable to get a ‘presumption of death’ certificate because she could lose her home.
Rosie Moss, 37, from Faversham in Kent, is desperately trying to get her husband Ben Moss declared legally dead, after he disappeared while diving last year
When can a missing person be declared legally dead?
A missing person is not automatically assumed dead and families often have to apply to the High Court for the ‘declaration of presumed death’ certificate.
This can be granted to people in England and Wales who have been missing for at least seven years.
The Presumption of Death act lets families lets families take over finacnail affairs of a missing perosn.
But families cannot take over affairs without having to testify they believe the person is dea.
Families with a missing person often end up in a legal limbo and are unable to cancel debit cards or alter mortgages.
Source: Missing People
Describing the moment she found out her husband was missing, Ms Moss, from Faversham in Kent, said: ‘It was the worst night of my life – Ben was the kind of man who appeared to be invincible and it was a complete shock.
‘I opened the door to two police officers – all they could tell me was that he dove at 11 o’clock and they hadn’t found anything else since.’
‘There is no doubt in my mind he died that day when he went diving in freezing cold waters – if he hadn’t, he would have come home to his family.’
Mr Moss, who was self employed, was classified as a missing person after he disappeared on March 12, leaving his wife to try and negotiate an extremely complicated financial future.
The mother has been struggling to keep his specialist flooring company afloat after being faced with the monumental loss she and her children suffered.
And she cannot obtain a ‘presumption of death’ certificate for her husband because she will lose their family home which they jointly own.
The mother has been struggling to keep his specialist flooring company afloat after being faced with the monumental loss she and her children suffered
Rosie said: ‘Losing the love of your life and raising your three children alone is so, so hard and on top of that, I have to wade through letters and paperwork still in his name, which is a constant reminder.
‘There are so many things that are affected – even Ben’s Land Rover which he took out on finance for £600 per month and I never drove.
‘It is a logistical nightmare and from a survival perspective, I have to access the life insurance otherwise we will lose our home.’
The couple had been married for ten years and had three children together – Monty, then seven, Hector, then five, and Tabitha, who was just six-months-old when Mr Moss went missing.
The couple had been married for ten years and had three children together
Ms Moss said: ‘It’s just devastating. Ben was an utterly devoted father and husband – he was a man’s man but very loving and he doted on our three children.
‘He did school runs, he did night feeds, he changed nappies and he did cuddles and bedtime stories with the kids.’
A missing person is not automatically assumed dead and Rosie had to apply to the High Court for the ‘declaration of presumed death’ certificate.
This can be granted to people in England and Wales who have been missing for at least seven years and or who have been missing for less than seven years but believed to be dead.
Two other divers linked to the same boat company Mr Moss dived with on the day he went missing are also scheduled for pre-inquest hearings in March.
Ms Moss said her fight for husband’s certificate would have been impossible without receiving legal support from her friend, a solicitor, as she would have had to fork out £23,000 in legal fees to date.
The mother-of-three said she was rescued at her lowest point by Holding On Letting Go
The mother-of-three said she was rescued at her lowest point by Holding On Letting Go and is running the Manchester Marathon in April to raise money for the charity in her husband’s memory.
The Kent charity provides bereavement support and advise for children and young people aged six to 16 and their families and Rosie has raised more than 90 per cent of her £2,000 target.
She said: ‘I am running the Manchester Marathon in memory of my husband – for our babies and for bereaved children everywhere.
‘At our lowest, most desperate point, Holding On Letting Go reached out to us when no one else could or would and they made us feel like we were a little less alone.
‘After weeks of having doors closed in our faces, they opened their arms and took us in and it felt like being hugged.
‘I hope, from the bottom of my heart, that you or your children never experience the horror of loss like this, but if you do, Holding On Letting Go will catch you and help you and make you feel slightly less alone.’