Can I get a divorce without my partners signature? 13 Answers as of August 05, 2011

I am married and have been separated from my partner since April 2004. I do not know where she is and she can not sign the paper. Can I still get divorced without her signature?

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Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
She will need to be served in person or by publication/mail pursuant to a court order.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/5/2011
Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
You mention the State of Indiana in your question. I do not practice in Indiana. Therefore, I cannot speak to what the laws are there. However, If we were talking about the State of Washington, where I do practice, then, my answer would be as follows: In general, you do not need your spouse's signature to get divorced. As long as you are willing to swear that the marriage is irretrievably broken, then, eventually you will get divorced. Your problem is going to be service of process. The law requires that all of the initial divorce pleadings be, in some fashion, served on the other party. The preferred method is personal service. However, since you say you do not know where she is, you are going to have to convince the court that you have made a sufficient effort to find her. f you do that, then, the court will probably grant you an order allowing an alternate form of service-like service by mail or service by publication.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 7/26/2011
Seattle Divorce Services
Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
This is a site for answering questions about Washington divorce law. We cannot answer questions about Indiana law.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 7/26/2011
Apple Law Firm PLLC
Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
It is possible, but there are things that need to be done to document you cannot find your spouse. Your divorce attorney can help you with this procedure.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/26/2011
Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
You would need to change the State of your question to Indiana in order to get that answer. In Florida, yes, you would be able to get a divorce. You would just need to have her served via publication if you cannot locate her.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/26/2011
    Correia-Champa & Mailhot
    Correia-Champa & Mailhot | Susan Correia Champa
    I do not know the laws in Indiana. If you have been a resident of Massachusetts for more than six months you can publish your divorce filing in the newspaper in the jurisdiction where your spouse last lived. You will have to show proof of publication to the court and you could obtain a divorce without consent after six months.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    The answer is yes. You may commence a divorce by serving and filing a Summons and Petition for Divorce setting out the facts and the relief you are requesting in the divorce proceeding. your spouse, the respondent, has thirty (30) days to file a response to that Petition indicating to the Court where they disagree. If they fail to file a timely response, you may file for a default judgment seeking an order based on your Petition. If your spouse responds to the Petition, the matter can be ended at any time when an agreement is reached, or, if it cannot be reached, in a trial of the issues.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    I can't say about Indiana. In Ohio and Michigan the lawyers would take care of the issue by publishing your intent in a newspaper of general circulation several times over six weeks. See a domestic relations attorney for more information.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    You'll have to ask an attorney licensed in Indiana. I'm only licensed in Washington.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    Since you indicated you live in Indiana, we recommend you contact a divorce attorney in that state. As to Georgia residents, generally, they have options, which should be discussed with a Georgia divorce attorney, including potentially service by publication, if therequirements are met. Again, seek help from a divorce lawyer in whichever state you live in. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    In Colorado it only requires that one spouse wants the divorce. Indiana is probably the same, but you need to consult an Indiana attorney. If, after diligent efforts to locate your spouse, you cannot locate the person to arrange for personal service (i.e. delivery in person) of the paperwork, the Court (either in Colo or Indiana) can authorize you to provide service and notice by publication in a local newspaper. That will permit the Court to dissolve your marriage. But, it may not be possible for the Court to do anything about financial or property issues.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/26/2011
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