Can I divorce my wife without knowing where she is? 23 Answers as of May 09, 2011

I want to divorce my wife but I haven't seen her in 10 years and I don't know where she is. We separated a month after our marriage in 2002 and haven't heard of her since. What do I do if I can't find her? Can I still proceed with the divorce?

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Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
Yes, you can divorce her. Hire an attorney who will have to spend much of their time trying to first serve her at her last residence and then eventually move for service by publication. Then you'll publish notice in a newspaper for 3 weeks and that will be sufficient to gain jurisdiction over her to obtain a divorce. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/9/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
Yes. After exercising due diligence in searching for her, you can serve her through notice by publication. You would benefit from legal help; talk to a lawyer. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 5/6/2011
Arnold & Wadsworth
Arnold & Wadsworth | Brian Arnold
There will be some posting requirements but it is possible. The court will direct you on those posting requirements. We offer free consultations. Feel free to give us a call.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 5/6/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
You can still divorce her. You would need to hire somebody who knows the steps leading to service by publication, as well as what you need to do in a divorce case, so you would best retain or at least consult with an experienced Family Law Attorney to get your divorce.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/5/2011
Harris Law Firm
Harris Law Firm | Jennifer C. Robins
You can file for divorce, however; normally, the opposing party (in this case your wife) would have to be served. In Oregon, there are many different types of "service." If really have no idea where she is, you may be able to get the court to allow you to serve via publication, meaning it is printed in the paper. That is kind of a last ditch effort when other means of service are not successful. You may want to consult an attorney in your area to get advice about the service process.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 5/5/2011
    Law Office of John C. Volz
    Law Office of John C. Volz | John C. Volz
    Yes, you would need to serve her by publication in order to obtain your divorce.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/5/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    Yes. You will have to send an notice to her last known address. If you wish to discuss further you can contact us.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/5/2011
    Fox Law Firm LLC
    Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
    Yes you can. We can file a petition for dissolution and place a notice of publication of the petition in a local paper - depending on which county you are in depends on which paper I will place the publication (i.e. Cook county - law bulletin, Will County Farmer's weekly, etc.) This publication runs for a period of 6 weeks, we show proof of publication to the judge and move forward. Call the office today to set an appointment to begin moving forward.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/5/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Yes. If you have made diligent efforts to locate her without success the Court can authorize you to serve her (i.e. officially notify her) notice of the proceedings by publication in a local newspaper.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/5/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    Yes, but there are court rules that you have to follow to get that divorce. Give me a call, make an appointment to come see me, and let's get moving on this for you. No charge for the first office visit. I know people worry about how expensive a lawyer is, so I am careful to be as inexpensive as I can for my clients. Before you spend a dime, you will know how much this is likely to be.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/5/2011
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law | Edwin Fahlen
    You can obtain a divorce. The service of process will have to be by application for an Order To serve her by publication.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Lori C. Obenauf LLC
    Lori C. Obenauf LLC | Lori C. Obenauf
    Yes, as long as you obtain permission from the court to have her served with notice of the divorce by publication. You will have to show the court that you have exercised due diligence in trying to locate her first.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Bivek Brubaker and Prescott LLC
    Bivek Brubaker and Prescott LLC | Damon Bivek
    Yes, you can pursue a "divorce by publication." There are many steps involved in this process, but I can certainly help you understand the steps involved. Please do not hesitate to contact my office for a complimentary consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    Yes. But you'll have to get an order allowing service by publication. It might be cheaper to hire a skip trace. ABC Legal Messengers can do a lot for a less than a 100 bucks.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    It is far more difficult to finalize a divorce without being able to sere the divorce papers on the other party. You must file a Motion to seek substitute service which is most often completed by publishing a notice of the divorce in the person's last known place of residence. To seek such a court order, you must document your efforts to locate your spouse.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
    Yes, you can. You have to publish notice in the last place you knew that she lived and also conduct due diligence to find her by contacting known relatives, etc.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    Yes. you can proceed with the divorce, even if you don't know her whereabouts. You will need to get an order from the judge allowing you to serve her by "publication." You will then need to finish the divorce via "default." Call a local family law lawyer for assistance.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Edward A. Kroll, Attorney at Law
    Edward A. Kroll, Attorney at Law | Edward A. Kroll
    You can file, and then if she cannot be found, there may be appropriate paperwork to file for default. You should talk to an attorney in your area to be sure, but it shouldn't be too much of a problem.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
    You can proceed with a divorce without knowing her whereabouts. However, the process is a bit more involved. There is an article on my website titled, "How to Divorce a Missing Spouse in Massachusetts" that discusses this process in more detail.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Berner Law Group, PLLC
    Berner Law Group, PLLC | Jack Berner
    What state do you live in? Washington? If you live in Western Washington, please feel free to contact my office for a free, no obligation consultation regarding this divorce matter. You could probably get a divorce, per se, but the Court wouldn't necessarily have the authority to divide up assets/debts, etc. without the other party being served, unless you're able to get authority to serve in an alternate fashion.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/4/2011
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