How can I divorce someone who abandoned me? 29 Answers as of July 08, 2013

Is there any way to divorce my husband who abandoned me six years ago for free? If not what is the cheapest way to do this? I have to get it done quickly because my health is failing and I do not want him to get any of my property when I die.

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Fox Law Firm LLC
Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
You have to file for divorce through publication. Once your publication has run, you simply present it before the court for prove-up.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 8/5/2011
Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
You can find forms at the Courthouse to start the process.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/5/2011
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
There is no cheap way. You will have to file a divorce actioin and have him served. If you know where he is, that is great. If you don't but you know where he last was, you might be able to serve him through publication. Go to a court service station at your courthouse. They can assist you.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 8/1/2011
Horizons Law Group, LLC
Horizons Law Group, LLC | Michelle B. Fitzgerald
Most county courthouses sell a packet of forms to file the divorce, if that is what you are looking for.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 8/1/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
There is no way to seek a divorce without a cost. Even if you proceed on your own, there is a filing fee unless waived by the court.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 8/1/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    you need to start an action and whether you do it yourself or hire an attorney is up to you
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/30/2011
    Rice & Co., LPA
    Rice & Co., LPA | Kollin Rice
    If you are indigent, then you could possibly do it for free, but you would need to have his address. (If you are indigent, he is not likely to inherit anything anyway.) You can file for divorce against him in the county of either your residence or his. If you do not know his address, you will likely have to serve him by publication, which can be a significant additional expense, and also a cause of delay.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 7/30/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Divorces cost money (court costs and attorneys fees). A lawyer would need details to tell you what those costs will be.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Willick Law Group
    Willick Law Group | Marshal S. Willick
    You can file for divorce, and then attempt to locate and serve, and if unsuccessful publish. If unopposed, you take default. Your intention to move quickly is in opposition to do things "free" though. While you can go through the self-help center and do the work yourself, it is likely to all be handled most expeditiously if you retain competent counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren | Patricia Van Haren
    A divorce is never free, even if you were to do this yourself you would have to pay for the court costs. If you wish for the divorce to be done quickly, you would probably want to invest in an attorney who can have the paperwork prepared correctly and pushed through for you. The minimum time for a divorce to be final is 6 months and 1 day from the date that the other party is served. If you do not know where the other person lives, they would need to be served by publication after the orders of the court.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C.
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C. | Paul A. Eads
    You will need to file a motion with the court to allow you to serve the other party via "posting". This process can be onerous if you have a common last name like Garcia.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    You can do the work yourself and ask the court to waive all or part of the $280 filing fee if you qualify.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Lewis, Pfanstiel & Williams, PCLO
    Lewis, Pfanstiel & Williams, PCLO | Ryan J. Lewis
    You can file for divorce and have him served by publication. Then after 60 days you can get a no contest divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Thomas Humphrey, Attorney at Law
    Thomas Humphrey, Attorney at Law | Thomas Humphrey
    One may obtain a divorce upon the basis of "separation without cohabitation" if the parties have been living separate and apart for five (5) years or more. 32-610.Separation without cohabitation. When married persons have heretofore lived or shall hereafter live separate and apart for a period of five (5) years or more without cohabitation, either party to the marriage contract may sue for a divorce which shall be granted on proof of the continuous living separate and apart without cohabitation of the spouses during said period of five (5) years or more. One can also obtain a divorce based upon "irreconcilable differences." You will need to serve your spouse with the divorce complaint. Upon proper showing, you can serve by publication. You can obtain a divorce by default. Many attorneys will charge flat fees for default divorces, usually in the price range of $750-$1500, depending on the circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    In Colorado the divorce process is identical for all situations and the court filing fees are identical for all situations. All that is required is that one party consider the marriage irretrievable broken. A petition is filed with the court and then served on the other party. If you cannot locate the other party to have him served, the court can authorize service by publication in a newspaper. If you qualify as indigent, the court filing fees can be waived. Regardless of the fact that you have not lived together for 6 years, all property still in existence (regardless of whose name it is in) is presumed to be marital and, therefore, subject to a fair division between the parties. There are no fixed rules for what is fair and, if the parties cannot agree, a judge will decide only after considering all relevant facts and circumstances. You should consult an attorney for a more accurate assessment of your situation and the potential outcomes you might expect in a divorce case.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    If you do not know where he is located then this process will be lengthy as you will have to have the divorce notice publishing in the newspaper for four weeks and then allow an additional 30 days before you can get a divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    The cheapest way of doing a divorce may not be the fastest or most successful way. The cheapest way is to represent yourself in Pro Per, with the assistance of your local Superior Court's Self-Help clinic. The best way of doing a divorce in the fastest and most successfuly way would be to retain an experienced Family Law Attorney to file and prosecute your divorce case to completion.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    Yes, we recommend you retain a divorce lawyer and ask about requirements for such a divorce, along with a will. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    Go to your local Legal Aid Society. This can be done, but it does take some time, and you don't have time to worry about making mistakes.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    You should file for divorce in the county in which you reside. You can have him served by publication if you cannot locate him. Depending on your economic circumstances, you may be eligible for a fee waiver/deferral.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Law Offices of John J. Ferry, Jr.
    Law Offices of John J. Ferry, Jr. | John J. Ferry, Jr.
    Abandonment is grounds for a fault divorce, but since you've been separated for more than two years you can get a "3301(d)" no-fault divorce just as quickly. Unfortunately, it will not be free unless you qualify for free legal assistance through a pro bono legal aid service. Your best bet is to contact an attorney as soon as possible.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    Check with your local county bar association to see if they have any programs that could help you. In King County we have a free legal clinic where you can get some limited assistance. You can download the forms you need free form the internet and you can request that the court waive the filing fees if you cannot afford them. You will need to have your husband served, but if you do not know how to find him, you may be able to get the court to allow service by mail to last known address.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    As a practical matter, I suppose that the cheapest way is to do it yourself. Pretty much every other option is going to cost more than that. Do you know where your spouse is or can you find him? I ask this because the preference is for personal service. Personal service is generally quicker and cheaper than other methods. If you cannot personally serve him, then, you're going to have to ask the court for permission to serve by publication. This adds to the cost because you're going to have to pay the newspaper to publish the necessary forms. Once the case is filed and your spouse is served, either by personal service or by publication, then, at least in Washington, you are going to have to wait 90 days. Once that 90 day period has passed, and assuming that your spouse has not appeared or responded in the case, then, you can set up a hearing to have the divorce entered by default. If he does appear and/or respond, then, you are going to have to go to either settlement or trial. This is a much longer route than default (depending on what county you are in).
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Bagwell Holt Smith Jones & Crowson, P.A.
    Bagwell Holt Smith Jones & Crowson, P.A. | John G. Miskey IV
    Everyone who files for divorce must pay the filing fee.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    You need to have a lawyer represent you in a divorce case and have your husband served by publication. Consult with an attorney about the details regarding that type of case; if you do not know the whereabouts of your husband and have made efforts to find him that have not been fruitful, you can have him served by publication and proceed with the case. As far as cost, if you are unable to get a Legal Aid lawyer to represent you, you will need to retain and pay for a lawyer; this is not something that you can handle yourself.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    ROWE LAW FIRM
    ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
    You may make a will to have your property bequeathed to another should you pass away, regardless of being married.The exception would be for "community property," over which he would have use until he died or remarried. You can divorce someone who abandoned you by either suing him for divorce and serving him with the paperwork, or suing him for divorce and having the court appoint an attorney ad hoc to represent his interest by looking for him and following the statute regarding due diligence towards absent defendants. If you are indigent and too poor to hire an attorney, you may be able to get assistance from your local Legal Services Corporation grantee-these are non-profit law firms that serve the legal needs of the poor. If you meet their qualifications and are within their service priorities (each firm is different), you may be able to get some legal assistance. Other possibilities include your local bar association.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    A. Traub & Associates Attorneys At Law
    A. Traub & Associates Attorneys At Law | Angel M. Traub
    This is the first time I am receiving an email from your company. What is the process here?
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/8/2013
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