How can I divorce my wife if I do not know where she is? 29 Answers as of July 04, 2013

If I can't find my wife and I don't know where she moved how can I get a divorce and do I have to do it in that state or can I file where I live?

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Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law
Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law | Gregory T. Buckley
You can usually get service by publication of a legal advertisement. Check with your local Clerk of Court about the requirements in your area and which newspapers qualify.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/12/2011
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
Your question is one of service and jurisdiction. Connecticut does have ways permitted by statute that would constitute service and notice on her even if you don't know exactly where she is living. The process is best initiated by an attorney so that you can assure proper jurisdiction over your future ex.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 7/11/2011
Neville J. Bedford Attorney at Law
Neville J. Bedford Attorney at Law | Neville J. Bedford
Yes, it is possible but costlier to give notice by means other than traditional service and yes, your state court should allow you to file once you have met the residency requirement (depending on which state you are in)
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 6/10/2013
Willick Law Group
Willick Law Group | Marshal S. Willick
Generally, you can file for divorce wherever you live, and if the other party cannot be located after a diligent search, you can serve by publication.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 7/4/2013
Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
You need to file where you live and make a good faith effort to locate your wife. If after exhausting all reasonable resources you still cannot locate her, then you can serve her via publication. It is strongly suggested that you retain an attorney to assist you as the requirements for perfecting service via publication can be quite technical.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/11/2011
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
    A search must be completed and if still not found, then you can publish for four weeks in the Newspaper. Hire a Divorce Lawyer and they will explain further.
    Answer Applies to: Tennessee
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    She will need to be served by alternative service and you file where you live.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    Under Washington law you would have jurisdiction here if both of you lived together in the state at any point during the marriage. If that is not the case, then you need to discuss your situation with an attorney. If you cannot locate your wife to serve her with the papers, you may be able to get permission from the court to do alternate service by publication or mailing to last know address.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    Stuart Jon Bierman  Attorney at Law
    Stuart Jon Bierman Attorney at Law | Stuart Jon Bierman
    Not knowing where your spouse resides does not create difficult problems in getting a divorce although it does make things more complicated and it takes longer to finalize the divorce. You should talk with an attorney about this process and how it relates to your particular circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/7/2011
    Horizons Law Group, LLC
    Horizons Law Group, LLC | Michelle B. Fitzgerald
    You file where you live and will then need to attempt service and publish at her "last known address" that you knew of. Or attempt a search to locate a last known address for her and do the same. You do need to be careful of these steps to ensure that your divorce is valid.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 7/7/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    You can probably get divorced where you live, depending on the particular requirements of that state. The difficult part will be getting some sort of service upon her. The preferred method of service is personal service. However, if you can convince the court that personal service is not possible, and depending on your exact facts and circumstances, you may be able to convince the court to allow you to proceed by either mail service to her last known address and/or service by publication.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/7/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    You can (and should) file where you live. If you can demonstrate to the court that you have made a diligent effort to locate your wife without success the Court can authorize notice to her by publication. That will permit the court to grant a dissolution of the marriage, but the court may have to reserve dealing with any financial issues until later when she is subject to the personal jurisdiction of the court.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/7/2011
    The Coyle Law Office
    The Coyle Law Office | T. Andrew Coyle
    You can file where you live. You would need to take steps to find your wife, though - which may mean hiring a private investigator or doing some other research on your own. The court wants to ensure that, if your wife can be found, she is given notice of the proceedings. If she cannot be found, you would still have ways of getting the divorce done, but it may take some time to get there.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/7/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    Where you live and send the notice to her by mail to her last known address or by publication in the newspaper where you think she may reside; you will also have to prove she is not in the military.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/7/2011
    Petit & Dommershausen SC
    Petit & Dommershausen SC | Tajara Dommershausen
    Yes if you can't serve her you will have to publish notice.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 7/7/2011
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    You can file here and file a motion for alternate service. If you don't know where she lives, how are you going to file a divorce where she lives?
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/7/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    I recommend that you retain a Georgia divorce attorney as soon as possible to discuss your rights and options, including the possibility of seeking service by publication under some circumstances. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/7/2011
    Pontrello Law
    Pontrello Law | William Pontrello
    Can file where you live and serve her papers constructively. best to get a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/7/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    You can file where you are but the court won't have jurisdiction to order certain things.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    You can file for divorce in Oregon. The court will allow you to serve your wife by publication if you cannot locate her.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/7/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    You can file for divorce only in the state whose residency requirements you have met, which would be in the state where you live. You would best retain an experienced family law attorney to represent you in your divorce; the attorney would have the resources available to search for your wife, and if unable to locate her, to obtain an order allowing you to serve your wife by publication.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/7/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    If you have made a good faith effort to find her (Internet search, contact family/friends, skip tracer, etc.), then you should be able to file the divorce petition and serve her by publication. Consult with an attorney regarding this process.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/7/2011
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A.
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A. | Michael D. Fluke
    If you have lived in Florida for more than 6 months and all you want is the divorce, meaning no alimony, child custody or child support, you can serve her by publication and perform a diligent search. There are packets at the local clerk's office that can help you through this if you cannot afford an attorney. I suggest you consult a local Family Law attorney to discuss your case in greater detail and learn all of your rights and options. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/7/2011
    Brandon L. Baker Attorney at Law, P.C.
    Brandon L. Baker Attorney at Law, P.C. | Brandon L. Baker
    Good question. There is a technical route to do this by getting the court to grant you permission to serve her by publication. Give me a call and I would be happy to assist you with getting service by publication.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 7/7/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    Please seek counsel from a domestic relations attorney. Usually, if a spouse cannot be found, notice of the divorce pending can be achieved by taking an advertisement in the locally designated general circulation newspaper. But you will need counsel to succeed.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 7/7/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    Assuming you live in California, file for divorce in the county where you live. If you can't locate your wife to serve her with the "filed" divorce papers, then you need to get a court order to serve her by publication. Service by publication is a somewhat complex process. I suggest you contact a local family law lawyer for assistance. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/7/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    If you are in here in Georgia, and have been here six months, you can file here. The law will require what is called a diligent search. Once you have done that, your lawyer should be able to get you through the case pretty quickly.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/6/2011
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