On the day Arlene Fraser disappeared she was due to see her solicitor about divorcing the man accused of murdering her, a court has heard.
The Elgin mother-of-two has not been seen since April 28, 1998, and her body has never been found.
That day Mrs Fraser, 33, had a break from her business studies course at Moray College and had planned to see a divorce lawyer, the High Court in Edinburgh heard on Wednesday.
Her husband, Nat Fraser is on trial accused of murdering his wife between April 28 and May 7, 1998.
Mrs Fraser's friend Patricia Gauld, 47, told the court she went to collect her children from the Fraser home on Smith Street on April 27 - a Monday.
She said: "She had an appointment on Tuesday with a solicitor regarding her divorce from Mr Fraser.
"She said that she was going to file for divorce. All she wanted out of the marriage was the house and the custody of the children."
Mrs Gauld said her friend seemed happier after separating from her husband, who was living at the Lhanbryde home of his business partner Ian "Peddo" Taylor.
The witness told the trial that on the day Mrs Fraser disappeared, she had tried to phone her all day without success.
Margaret Boyce, 68, also said she had tried to phone Mrs Fraser all day, about an anti-litter campaign.
Fraser, 53, denies attacking his wife at their home, or elsewhere in Scotland.
It is alleged that he strangled her or murdered her "by other means to the prosecutor unknown".
The indictment against Fraser says he knew Arlene had seen a solicitor about divorcing him and getting a cash pay-off.
Fraser has lodged papers in court claiming that the day his wife disappeared he left the address in Burnside Road, Lhanbryde, where he was staying at about 7.30am and spent the day making van deliveries to hotels, restaurants and shops - pausing to make a phone call just after 9am.
Fraser also claims that if Arlene was murdered, as prosecutors claim, the man responsible could be Hector Dick of Mosstowie, Elgin.
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