What happens when you want to file for divorce, but you don’t know where your spouse is? Unfortunately, the petition documents to open your dissolution matter must be personally served to the other party. However, what often happens is the parties have been separated for an extended period, or they simply don’t know where their spouse is. In that scenario, there are a couple of options:
1. Substituted Service. This is an option in which a third party attempts service with the other party on your account. Documents can be left with a friend or family member of the other party. This option can fail if the party never receives the documents or says they never received them.
2. Service by publication. This option allows you to ask the court’s permission to let you file the documents in the newspaper. This is deemed as service on the other party, so you can move forward with the dissolution.
If you have found yourself wanting a divorce but do not know where your spouse is, don’t worry. All is not lost.
If you have questions about this or any other family law topic, please feel free to reach out to us via phone or email. We would love to help you.