Can I divorce my husband without him even being served the papers? 25 Answers as of June 23, 2011

I want to divorce my husband, I do not want anything from him and I want the divorce to be over as soon as possible. We do not own anything together. Can I divorce him without him being served the papers?

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Law Office of Karen A. Clark, L.L.C.
Law Office of Karen A. Clark, L.L.C. | Karen A. Clark
The state of Washington requires you to give your husband notice of your intention to divorce him. Notice may be given by service or publication. There is a mandatory 90-day waiting period from the date of service of the Dissolution Petition and Summons until the final Dissolution Hearing. If you do not want to interact with your spouse, you might want to consider asking someone over the age of 18 to serve him or using a process server.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/23/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
No. Think of it this way, in order for a Court, a third person if you will, to make any decisions both parties must be provided an opportunity to be heard. To allow a party to do something without even telling the other side is just unfair. It is also unconstitutional. Our laws demand that both parties be given a chance to be heard. Now, if he is served and does not respond, that is a whole new story. He can choose to ignore the situation, that is fine, you need only give him the opportunity to be heard, he does not have to act upon that opportunity.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 6/8/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
No. Your husband is entitled to Constitutional Due Process, i.e., notice of the action and an opportunity to be heard. If you don't know where he is, you'll need to hire a private investigator to try to locate him, and if the investigator is unable to locate him after diligently attempting to do so, you may qualify to have your husband served by publication - which is still "service."
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/7/2011
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
In Connecticut, no. He must be served by a marshal.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 6/6/2011
Law Office of John C. Volz
Law Office of John C. Volz | John C. Volz
No, you cannot. If you are unable to locate him, after you have shown diligent efforts, you may request that the court allow you to serve him by publication.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/6/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    No, you must serve him or have him served personally if possible,by substitute service or through publication if all other forms of notice fail and can be proven. Otherwise, if you do not serve him, the divorce is always subject to being brought back and reopened and you don't want that to happen. In NY we now are a no-fault state and that means you can get your divorce regardless of what he may say to counter your charges against him. Speak to a qualified matrimonial attorney about the matter. It may be easier than you realize. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Tray Payne & Associates, PLLC
    Tray Payne & Associates, PLLC | Tray Payne
    Short answer is NO! In the state of Texas, service is required unless your husband waives by signing a document stating he doesn't wish to be served.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Not unless you are unable to locate him even after diligent effort to have him served. If you are unable to have him personally served, the Court can authorize service by publication.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    The Coyle Law Office
    The Coyle Law Office | T. Andrew Coyle
    This may depend on what state you are in, but as a general answer, no. Your husband is entitled to notice of the divorce as it affects his legal rights (his marital rights to your property if you pass away; his right to marry someone else). If, however, you can't serve him with notice because you don't know where he lives or because he avoids service, you can still get divorced through a 'default' proceeding.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    No.If you can't find him you can get permission to serve him by publication. Service is key - it's all about service to some degree. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    Generally, as to Georgia divorces, the other party has a right to be personally served and to have an opportunity to address and raise any issues they want to raise in court. I would recommend that you retain and consult with a divorce attorney where you live about all your rights and options. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC | Patrick Meriwether
    In Georgia, there must be service upon the opposing spouse in order for a divorce to be granted.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    No. Your spouse must be served. If you cannot locate your spouse, you must flie a motion to seek service by substitute service, usually publication. To do so, you must demonstrate a significant effort in seeking to locate and serve your spouse without success.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    No. Due process requires he be served with the complaint. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    No. your husband must be served with the divorce papers.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Naomi Hirayasu Attorney at Law
    Naomi Hirayasu Attorney at Law | Naomi Hirayasu
    If you know where he is, you must serve him or attempt service. If you make all reasonable efforts to locate him and you cannot do so, you may be able to get permission from the court to serve him by publication in a newspaper of general circulation. Please do let me know if I can be of further assistance.
    Answer Applies to: Hawaii
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    No. He will need to be served in accordance with the laws of your state. A divorce is a lawsuit.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    No, under Washington law your husband does need to be served. There is a minimum 90 day waiting period in Washington for any divorce. If there are no issues to argue about, hopefully you and your husband could reach agreement during that time.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Arnold & Wadsworth
    Arnold & Wadsworth | Brian Arnold
    No, he is going to have to be served.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    In every jurisdiction I know of, your husband must be served with notice of a complaint for divorce and summons to court. A divorce is like any other lawsuit. In many places, though, your new address and telephone number can remain confidential from your husband. Please contact a domestic relations attorney near you for information.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    The Grigsby Firm
    The Grigsby Firm | Sherlock Grigsby
    You cannot finalize a divorce without serving your spouse, unless the court finds a compelling reason to do so. If you cannot serve them personally, you must still publish the notice for a period of time. YOU should check with an attorney for specific options.
    Answer Applies to: District of Columbia
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    No. In order to obtain a divorce, he must be served and given the opportunity to respond. If you are in my area, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    The answer is you cannot obtain a divorce without properly serving the documents.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    No. A divorce is a lawsuit. ALL lawsuits require service. The simplest form of service is for him to sign an acknowledgment, which usually happens in an uncontested case. He can also be served by sheriff, which makes the case contested. Divorce is NOT a do it yourself project. To avoid problems, you must get counsel. Note that you don't get to simply say "I don't want anything" as he also would have to agree to the case. Note that with counsel you often can speed up the process and sometimes even avoid a hearing. You will also avoid the pro se paperwork mistakes that usually slow a case.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/3/2011
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