Cannot locate spouse for divorce

You Want to File for Divorce, but Can’t Find Your Spouse

People file for divorce for many reasons. However, divorces are categorized by either being no-fault or at-fault, but what happens when you can’t find your spouse? “Divorce by publication” may be the solution. Though the legal distinctions vary from state to state, “Divorce by publication” generally requires that you have been living apart from you spouse for a minimum amount of time and that, despite your efforts to find him/her, you can’t locate your spouse.

Before beginning the process of “Divorce by publication,” you must attempt to contact your spouse whether it is through calling, texting, emailing or asking your friends or family. These efforts are necessary so that you can’t be held at fault for divorcing without informing your spouse. If you have done this and have received no response, then “divorce by publication” will be the appropriate procedure for you.

What To Do

Traditionally, the filing for divorce requires an attorney to initiate a divorce action which is given to your spouse either by hand or by mail at the last known address. However, if you can’t locate your spouse even with your diligent efforts to do so, that will not be an option. Instead, you can request that the court sends out an Order of Notice by Publication. Then, your notice to divorce your spouse will be printed and distributed by a local newspaper of your spouse’s last known location. This notice will run for about three weeks with even more time allowed for your spouse to respond. No response after all this time will allow your attorney to finalize the divorce process.

Even if your spouse doesn’t appear, you can continue with the divorce proceedings just as long as the judge that is satisfied with your efforts to locate him/her. The best evidence you can provide to vouch for these efforts is an affidavit of marshal service stating that the publication did go out for an extended amount of time. The rest of the divorce proceedings can be completed without your spouse’s presence such as the dissolution of martial estate such as property division and order affecting children (custody, visitation, child support, etc.).

Who Can Handle Your Case

If you are facing the dilemma of seeking divorce but you can’t find your spouse to begin proceedings, you are not alone through this. Buncher Family Law has the experience and knowledge to guide you through the process. With their expertise, filing for divorce will not be a burden for you. From determining how long your separation must be to considering a “Divorce by Publication,” Buncher Family Law will assist you through all legal divorce services. Contact Buncher Family Law today for a consultation to begin your journey to freedom and peace of mind.

Posted in Court Preparation, Divorce.