Is it possible to obtain a divorce without the other spouse’s consent or presence in court?
How to Divorce Someone You Can’t Find
Divorcing someone you can’t find can be a daunting and challenging task. In most cases, the process may involve additional legal steps and could take longer than a regular divorce. If you don’t know where your spouse is, there are several legal steps you can take to move forward with the divorce process.
Here are some guidelines that can help you divorce someone you can’t find.
1. Conduct a thorough search
The first step towards filing for divorce when you can’t locate your spouse is to conduct a thorough search. Check with friends and family members who may have information about the spouse’s whereabouts. Check social media platforms or conduct a search online. You can also hire a professional investigator to help you locate your spouse.
2. Publication Notice
If all search efforts are unsuccessful, the next step is to get permission from the court to publish a notice of the divorce in a local newspaper. This notice is known as “publication notice” and is intended to notify your missing spouse of the pending divorce action. This is usually the last resort and requires approval from the court.
3. Application for Service by Publication
In some states, you may be required to file an application for service by publication. This involves submitting a petition to the court that outlines your efforts to find your spouse and your request to serve them by publication. The court will review the petition and, if approved, allow you to publish a notice of the divorce in a local newspaper. The publication notice must run for a fixed time, usually a minimum of three consecutive weeks.
4. Default Judgment
If your missing spouse fails to respond to your publication notice, you may be eligible for a default judgement. This is a legal procedure in which the court grants you a divorce because your spouse failed to respond or participate in the divorce process. This usually happens after a specific amount of time following the publication notice.
Divorcing someone you can’t find can be a stressful and challenging process. However, with the right legal guidance and effort, it is possible to obtain a divorce. The steps outlined in this article could help you proceed with a divorce even if you can’t locate your spouse.
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