Do I need my spouses signature to file for divorce? 22 Answers as of June 11, 2013

My husband has moved out of state. I don't have his new address. I would like to file for divorce. Do I need his signature to file?

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Law Office of John C. Volz
Law Office of John C. Volz | John C. Volz
You do not need his signature to file for a divorce. You will need to serve him with the divorce proceedings however.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/30/2011
Harris Law Firm
Harris Law Firm | Jennifer C. Robins
If you are in Oregon, you can petition for dissolution of marriage without your spouse's signature. Your spouse will need to be served, or given notice of the petition. Service of process can be accomplished in many ways, but you probably need to consult with an attorney. You will need to prove to the court that your spouse has been served with papers.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 3/30/2011
Fox Law Firm LLC
Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
NO, IL does not require his signature. You may file for divorce and give him notice through publication in your local newspaper. Call our office today to schedule a 30 minute free consultation to discuss just how this whole process works.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 3/30/2011
Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
You do not need his signature, but he will need to be served. If you are in my area, please contact me for a free consultation. I can help you with this issue.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/28/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
You do not need your husband's signature for you to file for divorce. However, you need for him to be served, once the case is filed. You should make an effort to locate him, and if you are unable to locate him, you should hire an experienced Family Law Attorney to represent you and to do what is needed to obtain an order allowing you to have your husband served by publication.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/28/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    No, he does not have to sign nor agree. However, there are issues involved that you should consider. First, you cannot affect his rights in a court of law without proper notice. This is a rule in all cases, not just divorce. It is inherently unfair to hold court proceedings and not tell the other side. That said, this seems to be a recurring theme on this forum so I will try to answer the next question. If you cannot find him, there are methods of service other than personal service but there are limited, the law is very strict on the application - so yes, you will need a lawyer to get you through that part - and your husband has 4 years from the date he learns of the divorce to file a motion with the court to go back and review the matter via a Bill of Review. The subject of a Bill of Review is too detailed to discuss here, just know that it is a special type of appeal based on not getting notice. The best way to avoid a Bill of Review is remember the adage "pigs get fat, but hogs get slaughtered". If there is property that you know is rightly his, and you serve him via publication and then take a default divorce, do not take title to the property that is rightly his. Give it to him even if it is only on paper. This way, if he does learn of the default, acquires a copy of the decree and looks at it, he will not have any viable reason to reopen the case.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Vermeulen Law office P.A.
    Vermeulen Law office P.A. | Jacob T. Erickson
    You are going to have some difficulty getting your divorce started, because you will have to establish jurisdiction over your husband. You will probably have to serve him with a copy of the paperwork while he is in Minnesota, or get a Court to let you serve him by publication. You may even have to file for divorce in the State that he moved to, depending on the circumstances of your divorce. Your best bet is going to be to hire an attorney and work with the attorney to get your divorce started.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    No.But it will be much easier if you do learn where he is because you willneed to serve him and serving is easiest if you know where he is. Usually private investigators can find someone pretty easily. I suggest contacting ABC Legal Messengers to find your husband. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Law Office of Tim W. Avery
    Law Office of Tim W. Avery | Tim W. Avery
    You don't need his signature to file a divorce but you will need to have him served by a process server with notice of the filing.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Lori C. Obenauf LLC
    Lori C. Obenauf LLC | Lori C. Obenauf
    While your spouse's signature is not required to file for a divorce, you must legally serve him with the Complaint for Divorce. You will need to exercise due diligence in trying to locate a valid address for him. If you cannot, after exercising due diligence, locate him, you can ask the Court for permission to serve him by publication (in the newspaper).
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Steven D. Keist, Attorney at Law
    Steven D. Keist, Attorney at Law | Steven D. Keist
    No you do not.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    Goldberg Jones
    Goldberg Jones | Zephyr Hill
    No. You can file on your own.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law | Diana K. Zilko
    You won't need his signature to file, but you will need to serve him with the Petition. If you have any further questions, please let me know.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    For a contested divorce, you would not need his signature. You simply must get him served with the complaint. If you are doing a divorce by agreement, then you would need his signature on the agreement.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    While you don't need his signature it is preferable that he is given notice. If you don't have his address but know the place he resides you can ask for notice by publication in the newspaper. Let us know if you wish to discuss further.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    You do not need his signature to get a divorce. It is easier and cheaper if he will cooperate, but if he will not, then you can still get the divorce. Call me and we will talk this over. No charge for the first office visit.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Raheen Law Group, P.C.
    Raheen Law Group, P.C. | Wali Raheen
    No, you don't need his signature to file for divorce. But he must be served with the filing.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    No. you don't need his signature. You need to file a Dissolution Petition (form FL-100) and Summon (FL-110). If you have minor children, you also need to file a UCCJEA Declaration (form FL-105). None of those forms require your husband's signature, only yours.

    However, the next step after filing these documents with the court, is serving them on your husband. If you can't locate him after a diligent search, then you will need a court order to serve him by "publication." It's a somewhat complex process for those that are not experienced lawyers. I suggest you contact a local family law lawyer who can assist you with the initial filing, as well as service by publication. If you are in Marin or Sonoma County, feel free to call my office.

    Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/28/2011
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