If you want to divorce your spouse, but are unsure of his or her whereabouts,
you can still get a divorce, but it will require a few extra steps. Courts
typically require spouses to perform a somewhat exhaustive search before
allowing the process to proceed any further. Searching for a spouse might
include visiting your local sheriff to find a spouse’s last known
whereabouts, digging through social media, a visit to the DMV, and contacting
his or her family members or past employers. Simply calling your spouse’s
last phone number or visiting his or her last known address would not
be considered a sufficient enough effort by the court.
You are by no means required to perform this exhaustive search all on your
own, of course. It is recommended that you hire an attorney to not only
assist you in locating your spouse, but to move forward with divorce proceedings as well.
Here is what you should know about the divorce process when you are unable
to locate your spouse:
Obtaining the court’s approval: If you still cannot find your spouse after conducting an exhaustive search,
you will present the results to the court and request permission to serve
your spouse by publishing a notice of divorce in a newspaper or other
Publishing a notice of divorce: After you receive the court’s approval for publication, you can
print a notice of divorce in a local newspaper or in any other publication
approved by the court, stating your intent to end the marriage. If you
do not receive a response after 30 days, you can officially request a
Divorce proceedings: Without your spouse’s participation, you will be granted a divorce
by default. However, a judge will likely not rule on monetary issues,
such as spousal support or child support, since your spouse cannot be
located to enforce these orders. That said, these issues can be revisited
if your spouse is ever located in the future.
Nothing can stop you from getting a divorce if you wish to end your marriage,
but not being able to locate your spouse can prolong the process, so it
is crucial to hire a skilled legal representative to help you navigate
the process, so you can successfully obtain a divorce.
Reach Out to an Experienced Divorce Attorney Today!
If you cannot locate your spouse and are trying to get a
divorce, you need to obtain the services of a knowledgeable divorce attorney today.
At the Law Office of Kathryn Marteeny, our legal team has over 30 years
of collective experience and a history of proven success. No matter how
complex or straightforward your divorce case might be, you can trust that
our team will get you through it and help you achieve your goals.
Contact our law office today at (713) 936-2300 to request a case review with a
member of our divorce team. You do not have to go through this experience
on your own!