Can I get a divorce without my husbands consent? 31 Answers as of June 27, 2011

My husband adandoned his family (me and our 8 month old baby boy) and fled to his home country Bermuda. He's having a romantic fling with another woman. He'll probably disagree to divorcing but our marriage is irretrievably broken. How can I get a legal divorce without his consent or signature?

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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
You do not need your husband's consent, agreement or signature in order for your marriage to be dissolved. You must give him notice that you have filed a Petition for Dissolution, and serve him with the Petition and Summons. That can be done in a variety of ways. It would be a good idea to talk to an attorney or the family court facilitator.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/27/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
File a complaint for divorce. Talk to a layer in your area. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 6/24/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
You can get a divorce without his consent or signature, but the difficulty will be serving him with your divorce case. You would best retain an attorney experienced in international divorce cases to represent you, to research the service requirements for people residing in Bermuda and obtain service on your husband.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/21/2011
Meriwether & Tharp LLC
Meriwether & Tharp LLC | Patrick Meriwether
In Georgia, you must have your spouse "served" under the laws of Georgia. This involves attempting personal service first. If this fails, the Court can allow service by publication.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 6/16/2011
The Reed Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
The Reed Law Firm, P.L.L.C. | Vanessa Reed
Yes, you do not need consent of the other spouse in order to be divorced. Please see my website for additional information on this topic.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 6/16/2011
    Fox Law Firm LLC
    Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
    You do not need his consent or signature in IL. Since he is out of the country and you do not know where he is, we will file your divorce through publication. Contact the office to discuss the option in more detail.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    File for divorce. Then attempt service.If you know where he is in Bermuda, it will be fairly easy to get him served. If not, you'll need to try to figure out where he is and then get permission from the court to serve him by a means other than personal service. Once you get service, then you proceed normally and it's his problem that he's in Bermuda. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    Generally, you can get a divorce, without his consent, provided you have met our state's residency requirements, and provided service is obtained, via personal service, or by publication, if court ordered. You should retain a divorce lawyer ASAP concerning all your rights and options. Hopefully, you will be okay. Good luck to you!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Shana E. Thompson Law
    Shana E. Thompson Law | Shana Thompson
    In Washington State the court will grant a divorce even if only one party wants it. Assuming you live here, you would file and attempt to serve him. If you could not, then you would ask the court to serve him by mail at an address in Bermuda likely to reach him. If he does not respond, then the court to enter final order by default. If he does respond, then each side will prepare their case and if a resolution cannot be reached in mediation, the court will make a decision at trial about how to divide the assets and debt, what the parenting plan should be and what amount to set child support. The court will then enter final orders dissolving your marriage.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    You do not need his agreement or cooperation. However, you will need to serve him with papers. Once he is served, if he chooses to not cooperate or respond, then you can proceed without him. You may want to discuss how to do this with an attorney, as out of country service can be tricky at times, as well as properly proceeding when one party is refusing to cooperate and respond. My office offers free initial telephone consultations if you would like to discuss this matter in more detail, as well as explore the potential rights and options available. If you would like to coordinate a free initial telephone consultation, please contact my office.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    You don't need either his consent or signature to get a divorce. If you live in NY,we now have no fault divorce and you should see an attorney to discuss it in depth. You can also get a divorce based upon adultery. Hire an attorney as soon as possible. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    Yes. You can obtain a default divorce in the county you and your child live in. If your husband lived here with you, then he can be ordered to pay child support also. You should contact an attorney to represent you, or you may contact the local court facilitator to assist you with completing the pleadings you will need to obtain a default divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    In Colorado you do not need his consent. Like most "no-fault" states, only one party needs to want to end the marriage.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    You file and you give him notice but in CT he doesn't have to agree.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    I am going to assume that before he ran off, you and your spouse were living here in Washington as husband and wife. This is important because it confers jurisdiction on the Washington courts to grant your divorce. If that is true, then, the answer is yes. You can get a divorce here without your husband's consent, so long as you are willing to go into court and swear that the marriage is irretrievably broken. The main road block that you are likely to encounter in the case is service. Washington normal would require that your husband be personally service with the divorce papers if that is possible. If that is a problem, then, you are going to have to convince the court that it should allow service by mail or service by publication. You may need an attorney's help to accomplish that.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    You will need to serve your husband with the divorce papers. If he does not respond then you can complete the divorce without him by default. If he does respond, then the case goes to trial as to the terms of the divorce unless the two of you work out a settlement.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Vermeulen Law office P.A.
    Vermeulen Law office P.A. | Jacob T. Erickson
    . In Minnesota, his signature is irrelevant. This is a no-fault state, meaning that you do not need his consent to get a divorce. It will be kind of a pain to get him served with the necessary paperwork, but a skilled attorney can get that taken care of for you.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
    Fortunately for you, it only requires one person to say the marriage is over to get divorced. Unfortunately, you may have a difficult time serving him with the divorce papers given where he is now living.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    It depends on the your state. In California, either party can get a divorce without the consent of the other.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    In California, you do not need your spouse's consent to get divorced. If he won't cooperate after being "served" with the divorce papers, then you can get divorced via "default." Because your husband is out of country, you will likely need assistance getting him served. It would be best to consult with a local family law lawyer. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Vermeulen Law office P.A.
    Vermeulen Law office P.A. | Cynthia J.Vermeulen
    Only one spouse needs to consent to a divorce under Minnesota law. While certain other states require grounds for divorce, the only basis for divorce in MN is an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage relationship. If the other spouse does not participate in the divorce, a default divorce decree may be obtained. Talk with an experienced family attorney for advice and representation.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Wolverine Law | Stuart Collis
    In Michigan, we have no fault divorce, so you can get a divorce without your spouse's consent and for any reason.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    The key is not getting him to agree, but informing him of the lawsuit for divorce. You must serve a copy of the complaint and a summons on him wherever he is. He would then have to give the court a reason for not granting the divorce. In virtually call cases EXCEPT in a very few instances in Louisiana, a person can get a divorce without the other party agreeing to it. Please see a local domestic relations attorney for further information.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    You don't need consent in California to get a divorce. If you are in my area and are looking for an attorney, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Palomino Law Firm, P.C.
    Palomino Law Firm, P.C. | Debra Palomino
    You do not need your husband's consent to get a divorce. Arizona is a no fault divorce state. You can file with or without an attorney. Forms can be found through the online self service center of the Maricopa County Superior Court.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law | Gregory T. Buckley
    As long as you have been a resident for at least 6 months, you can file here. Neither his consent nor his signature is required. If you cannot have him personally served with the papers in Bermuda, you can serve him by publication here in the US.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
    I am sorry to hear about your situation. You can certainly get a divorce without his consent/signature, but you will probably have to serve him by publication if you have no way of locating him in Bermuda. There is an article on my website's "Blog" page that addresses this issue. Best of luck.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    You file the initial pleadings and have him served. If he fails to respond, he will be in default.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Either you have a contested or uncontested divorce. Unless he agrees to a divorce AND all other issues (support, custody etc), you will need to get a lawyer, serve him, and see what the court does. With a child and him in another country, you need a very experienced attorney here. A good lawyer in Bermuda can assist as to enforcing child support.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    If you had the marital home in Georgia, you can file a divorce action without his consent or signature, but he must be properly served with the documents and the case must proceed to a legal conclusion even if he doesn't respond. If he disagrees on any issue, he will be forced to fight the divorce action in the US. Consult with a lawyer as to issues of jurisdiction and how to proceed.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/14/2011
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