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How Do I Divorce A Spouse I Can’t Locate?


Question: How Do I Divorce A Spouse I Can’t Locate?

Divorce by Publication

I was married 10 years ago. We lived together briefly before separating. He left the state and I have no idea where he is or how to find him. How can I divorce him without an address?



The first thing you need to do is retain a divorce attorney. There are simple steps outlined below that your attorney will take in order for you to obtain a divorce.

  1. Hire an attorney and file for divorce.

  2. Once you file for divorce your attorney will attempt to have the original petition for divorce served on your husband at his last known address. If your husband has relatives living nearby your attorney may also wish to send service to their addresses in an attempt to reach him.

  3. If your attorney is unable to serve your husband, you will be able to serve him “by publication.” What this means is, you will run a notice of your intent to divorce in the local newspaper. In some states, the notice must contain certain information.

  • The fact that a case for divorce was filed.

  • A description of any marital property affected by the divorce.

  • The name of the court, your name and the attorney’s name.

  • That judgment by default will be entered against your husband should he not respond within a certain period of time. In most states the time to respond is between 30 and 45 days from the first date of publication of your notice. The notice must run once a week for a four week period

If your husband does not respond to the publication within the allotted time, you will be able to proceed with the divorce process. In your case the court will more than likely award you a divorce, custody of any children and any property acquired during the marriage.

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