Is there a procedure or some kind of form that can be filled out if a person is not able to locate their spouse to serve them the papers or to get them to sign the divorce papers?
Yes, you can do a divorce by publication. I don't recommend trying to do it yourself because it's complicated. I recommend that you find a family law attorney on this website and just hire them to do "their magic".
First, the attorney will try to find your spouse. If you have their social security number, the attorney might be able to locate them.
Second, if not, then the judge in Harris County will appoint an attorney to try to locate the spouse and you get to pay for that attorney's services.
Third, a divorce by publication takes awhile and is costly but you will eventually be divorced.
Finally, don't waste your money with a DIY kit sold on the internet, tv or radio. They are sold by out-of-state companies and don't work in Texas. Hire a TX attorney & do it right the first time!
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4 lawyers agree
Family Law Attorney
I agree with Attorney Brochstein. In order to establish service by publication you should get the help of a qualified attorney. And the do it yourself divorce kits do not provide the counsel and expertise to accomplish this. Good luck.
Criminal Defense Attorney
I agree with attorney Brochstein and Sadler. If you file for divorce and request service by publication (meaning serving the person by publishing it in an authorized general-circulation newspaper), then an ad litem will likely be appointed to help located this person or make sure he cannot be found. This is something you can consult with an attorney about. Good Luck.