How can I get a divorce if I cannot find my ex? 18 Answers as of February 27, 2011

I haven’t seen my spouse in almost 4 years 3 months after we were married. How can I get a divorce from him when no one can find him?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Cody and Gonillo, LLP
Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
There is a procedure called an order of notice where the court can order notice at the last known address or in a newspaper. Please contact us if you wish to discuss further; we have a free initial consultation. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 2/27/2011
Rice & Co., LPA
Rice & Co., LPA | Kollin Rice
It is possible to file divorce in the county you live and serve him by publication. Service by publication is a pain, a significant increase in expense, and generally not very successful at notifying the person you are filing against. Nevertheless, it should be legally sufficient to get you a divorce.

Each court has its own customs and procedures with respect to service by publication, so my advice would be to find an attorney who is experienced dealing with the process in the court you want to file in.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 2/27/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
In such a case, you may be able to file an affidavit demonstrating your search for the individual and seeking court permission to serve the divorce petitoin by alternative service (usually publication). In such a manner, you may be able to conclude the divorce without your spouse's actual service of papers or presence.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 2/27/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
Retain an experienced Family Law Attorney, who can hire a private investigator to diligently search for your husband, and if he is unable to locate your husband in a diligent search, he'll provide your attorney a Declaration to support an application to allow service on your husband by publication.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/27/2011
Bartholomew & Wasznicky LLP
Bartholomew & Wasznicky LLP | Hal D. Bartholomew
It is possible to obtain a divorce if you can not find him. You must show good faith efforts to locate him. If the Judge determines you have made the proper efforts, the court can order that the summons be published in a newspaper for a defined period of time. After that the Judge will be able to grant a dissolution and restore you to the status of being unmarried after the 6 month waiting period has occurred. You should consult with an attorney regarding this process or with the local Family Court Facilitator at your local courthouse.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/27/2011
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Tennessee
    Replied: 2/27/2011
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law | Edwin Fahlen
    When a defendant/respondent cannot be found after a diligent search, that defendant/respondent can be served by publication in a newspaper, after obtaining an Order by the court for permission to do so. This is a common practice, but does require a legal proceeding. Then, the case will proceed by default, after all the court required procedures are accomplished. Bottom line is, you can obtain a divorce, and divide the community without the respondent.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/27/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    You will likely have to hire an attorney to use a process server to attempt to serve him at his last address repeatedly and when that doesn't work, you'll have to make a Motion in Court to ask for Service by Publication and then take out a legal notice in a few local newspapers for a period of time. That's how jurisdiction is obtained over him and then you can go through with the rest of the divorce. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 2/27/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    If you have made a diligent effort to locate him for personal service and have not been able to locate him, you may accomplish notice to him by publication. The Supreme Court Self-Help website has instructions and forms explaining that procedure. Service by publication will permit granting the divorce, but will limit what else the court might otherwise do concerning financial issues.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 2/25/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    Service by publication may be appropriate. I can help you with this. Please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/27/2011
    Law Office of Tim W. Avery
    Law Office of Tim W. Avery | Tim W. Avery
    Yes, you can get a divorce. After a diligent search and you still cannot locate him, you can then have him serve by publication.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 2/27/2011
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    You have to do a publication if you cannot find your spouse.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/25/2011
    Goldberg Jones
    Goldberg Jones | Zephyr Hill
    It is still possible. We will have to jump through the hoops and get a court order allowing us alternate service and then Default him. Have an attorney assist you or get help at the Court Facilitator's office.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/25/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    You need to get a court order to serve him by publication. Call a local family law lawyer who can explain the details of that process.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/25/2011
    Lori C. Obenauf LLC
    Lori C. Obenauf LLC | Lori C. Obenauf
    In Georgia, after due diligence has been exercised to locate your husband, you can ask the Court's permission to serve him by publication (publishing a notice in the legal organ of the county in which you are filing once a week for 4 weeks). The Court will grant you a divorce after your husband has been served by publication.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 2/25/2011
    Arnold & Wadsworth
    Arnold & Wadsworth | Brian Arnold
    You would need to petition the court to allow you to do service by posting it in the newspaper or on certain internet websites. If he does not respond after that the Court more than likely will grant you the divorce as asked for in your divorce petition.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 2/25/2011
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney