AyerHoffman, LLP | Cara Lee Thompson
First you will want to ensure that the state in which you currently reside has jurisdiction over your divorce (subject matter jurisdiction), and also jurisdiction over your spouse (personal jurisdiction). If both are satisfied, and you don't know your spouse's home address (even through, perhaps, the help of an agency that investigates matters such as yours), then you could attempt to serve your spouse in-hand at work, if that address is known. If neither address is known, and you have made good faith attempts at service, then you can try to serve via publication in the newspaper local to your spouse. You will need to check your state's statute to determine if this option is applicable, and the specifics of the publication requirements.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Seth L. Reszko
It is obviously much easier to know the last known address of your spouse, especially if it is in Nevada. Provided you know the last known address, you can file a divorce by publication after diligent efforts have been made to find her. Divorce by publication is not the easiest process. I would recommend hiring counsel. However, if you cannot afford counsel, the Family Court offers a Self-Help Center that can assist you with the forms. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
You file just as you would if you knew where is. The difference is in how you provide him the required notice of your case. If you have made a diligent effort to locate him without success, the court can authorize notice by publication in a local newspaper.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Law Office of Jane E. Ginsburg | Jane Ginsburg
There are very specific legal requirements for serving documents related to a divorce. There are provisions for service by publication as a last resort as set out in the Code of Civil Procedure section 415.50. The information above is intended to provide only general information. It should not be considered specific legal advice nor does it establish any type of attorney-client relationship between the author of the response and the person asking the question.
Answer Applies to: California
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
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. If you do not know where your spouse resides, you may file a motion to seek an order allowing service by substitute means. That generally means showing proof that you actively searched for your spouse and were unable to locate them.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
In order to file for divorce against an absent spouse, you must file your petition for divorce and include a request for a "curator" or "attorney ad hoc" to be appointed for your spouse. This person is a lawyer, appointed by the court, to exercise "due diligence" in locating your spouse for purposes of serving them with the lawsuit, or giving them a notice and opportunity to defend. The curator will ask you for any previous contact information you have, such as last known address, phone number, contacts for relatives and friends, etc. The curator will then search for your ex through filing an ad in the newspaper, internet searches, etc. If your spouse is never found, service upon the curator will be sufficient for you to obtain a judgment of divorce. If your spouse is found and notified, the curator will report those circumstances to the court, and you will still obtain your divorce.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
Pretty much the same way you would file if you did know your spouse's address, except with a few extra hoops to jump through. Those extra hoops involve making a good faith effort to try to locate the missing spouse. You have to have evidence that he or she has really disappeared and cannot be found. If the court is convinced of that, it will then give you permission to serve by publication.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Clement Law | Daniel E. Clement
In order to file for divorce, your spouse has to be served with the summons. If you don't know where your spouse lives or works, you will have to obtain an order to make service by some other means, generally by publication.
Answer Applies to: New York
Donaldson Stewart, PC | Monica H. Donaldson Stewart
If you are unable to locate your spouse after diligent efforts, the court can allow you to make some type of "alternate" service so the divorce can proceed. This may result in some limitations as to what the divorce orders can include, so I recommend you speak with an attorney to discuss this issue in greater detail.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
You don't need to know your husband's whereabouts to "file" the divorce papers with the court. However, you will need to put in a good faith effort to learn his address so you can have him served, either personally, or by mail if he agrees to accept by mail. If you can't find out his address after a diligent search, then you will need to get an order from the court granting permission to serve him by publication. That is a somewhat technical process. Thus, best to seek assistance from a local family law lawyer.
Answer Applies to: California