How To Divorce An Absent Spouse


Ending a marriage is a difficult decision, and it becomes even more challenging when your spouse is absent or missing. While the process may seem daunting, there are steps you can take to get a divorce from an absentee spouse. Here are some things you need to know as you navigate through this situation.

Establish Residency

The first step is to establish residency in the jurisdiction where you intend to file for divorce. Each jurisdiction has specific requirements, such as a minimum period of residency, which you must meet before initiating the divorce process. Research and understand the residency requirements in your jurisdiction to ensure you meet the criteria.

Make Diligent Efforts to Locate Your Spouse

If your spouse is absent or missing, you must make diligent efforts to locate them. Hire a private investigator or utilize online search tools to try to locate their whereabouts. Document all your efforts and keep a record of any communication attempts made during this process.

Consult an Attorney

Working with an experienced family law attorney is crucial in navigating a divorce involving an absentee spouse. An attorney will guide you through the legal process, help you gather the necessary documentation, and advise you on the best course of action based on your jurisdiction's laws.

File a Petition for Divorce

Once you have met the residency requirements and made reasonable efforts to locate your spouse, you can file a petition for divorce with the appropriate court. Provide all the relevant information regarding your marriage, your spouse's absence, and any attempts made to locate them. Your attorney will assist you in preparing and filing the necessary documents.

Serve Notice by Publication

If you are unable to locate your spouse, you may need to serve them notice by publication. This involves publishing a legal notice in a newspaper where your spouse was last known to reside or in a publication approved by the court. This notice provides an opportunity for your spouse to respond to the divorce proceedings within a specified time frame.

Request a Default Judgment

If your spouse fails to respond within the given time frame, the court may grant a default judgment in your favor. This means that the court will proceed with the divorce based on the information provided by you. It is essential to ensure that all the required documentation and evidence are properly presented to support your case.

Settle Property and Custody Issues

When dealing with an absentee spouse, resolving property division and child custody matters can be complex. Seek legal advice to understand how the laws in your jurisdiction handle these issues. The court will consider the best interests of the child when determining custody arrangements.

Finalize the Divorce

Once all the necessary steps have been completed, including the resolution of property and custody matters, the court will issue a final divorce decree. This document legally terminates your marriage. 

Contact local divorce attorneys for more info.


18 July 2023

divorce - tips for fathers fighting for custody

Divorce is never an easy situation. For fathers, it can be even more stressful because it is more difficult to obtain custody of the kids. Having gone through a divorce myself, I learned quite a bit about the additional steps that fathers should go through to ensure that they have a fair chance at gaining custody of the kids. My site is filled with the tips and advice that I received from my lawyer and other fathers that have gone through the same thing. Hopefully, what you learn on my site will help you achieve the outcome that you hope for.