Can I file for divorce if I do not know where my spouse is? Will it be granted without his signature?

Asked 11 months ago - Carrollton, GA

He asked for a divorce and once I had the papers drawn up he moved so I don't know where he is. We have been separated for over 7 years.

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Robert M. Gardner Jr.

    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If you file the divorce, you can ask that he be served by publication. The Judge will have to grant such request, and will need to see that you have made a diligent search to try and find and serve him personally through other means. If the Judge grants an application to serve him by publication, you will have to run a specific notice in the newspaper and wait a specified time for him to respond. If he does not, you can set a hearing to finalize the divorce. As there are certain things that certain Judges will require to be shown before granting service by publication, I highly recommend hiring an attorney in the area where your case would be filed to make sure this is done correctly.

    The above information is general in nature. In order to obtain more specific and legal advice upon which to base... more
  2. Emily Su-Hwa Yu

    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your divorce can be granted without knowing where he is but you still have to perfect service on him. You should work with a lawyer on this who can help you make sure that you have met all of the requirements. You will need to prepare a statement showing your diligent search to find him. You will then need a Judge to sign an Order allowing for service by publication which means that you must have an ad run in the local paper -- each Court has a specific paper through which they publish legal advertisements -- for 4 consecutive weeks. You must then file the newspapers Publisher's affidavit before being able to finalize your divorce. I recommend you work with an attorney on this. It will be worth the money to ensure that it is done properly without causing any additional delay.

  3. Myra Chack Fleischer

    Contributor Level 12


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with my colleagues answer. You still need to show you have tried to serve but publication under the rules of your state must be accomplished

    The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an... more
  4. Glen Edward Ashman


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . If you can show the court that you have made a dilligent search to locate him, the court can allow service by publication. The steps to a dillingent search are fact dependent and I'd be glad to discuss details with you as to what needs to be done if you will call me. A case by publication usually will be completed in about three months. The steps to a search can include the internet, mailing and phoning the defendant, calling friends and family, using child support recovery if there are children, etc. Those must be done properly to get a judge to allow published service.

    ATTORNEY GLEN ASHMAN 404-768-3509 . If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here... more
  5. Tami Lane Augen


    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should obtain an Avvo attorney in your jurisdiction. All states have procedures whereby you can obtain a divorce even if the spouse is "missing". You will have an obligation to attempt to locate him. I would advise that in this day and age of technology, it is very difficult for someone to conceal his whereabouts. Good luck to you.

    Tami L. Augen Rhodes

    This answer is for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for your particular case nor... more

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Divorce is the process of formally ending a marriage. Divorces may be jointly agreed upon, resolved by negotiation, or decided in court.

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