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How do I divorce my husband if I can't find him?

Reno, NV |

We've been separated for almost two years and I want a divorce. He does not want any contact, interaction, or any association with me or our son ever again. I however do not have any legal papers, he took them with him when he left. I have no way of contacting or finding him. His girlfriend contacted me a few months ago saying they moved out of state, but that is all the information I have.

Attorney Answers 5


  1. You file a Complaint for Divorce, and, with proof that you have tried to find him (internet searches, reaching out to relatives, etc.), you ask the court for permission to publish service in the newspaper. If he fails to respond to the published notice, you proceed by default. Making sure your paperwork is in order can be tricky, so having an attorney do this makes more sense if possible. Please call my office if you would like a consultation. In addition, if your husband is not paying child support and you do not already have a child support case open, please go to the District Attorney's child support division and open a case. This costs you nothing, and they may be able to find him.

    Responses are for general information purposes only, and are based on the extremely limited facts given. A consultation with an attorney experienced in the area of law(s) indicated in the question is highly recommended. Information and advice given here should not be relied upon for any final action or decision, as the information is limited by its nature to the question asked and the fact(s) presented in that question. THIS RESPONSE DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY/CLIENT RELATIONSHIP, particularly considering that the names of the parties are unknown.


  2. You will have to serve your husband the legal documentation via publication. First, after you have filed the Complaint for Divorce, you must seek permission from the Judge to serve by publication. Several documents have to be filed with the court among which are an Affidavit of Due Diligence; Affidavit for Service by Publication, etc. You should seek competent counsel in your area to accomplish this divorce.

    Nothing in this response to your posting on AVVO is intended or should be considered as legal advice to your specific situation. Our posting is intended to provide general information of interest to the public. Facts relevant to your situation and not disclosed in your posting may affect your specific legal rights and remedies.


  3. Service by publication requires permission and to get it you need to follow procedures. Consult a local attorney to see how it would work in your case.

    Under the rules governing the conduct of attorneys in New York it may be necessary to remind you that this answer could be considered attorney advertising.


  4. Service by publication requires permission and to get it you need to follow procedures. Consult a local attorney to see how it would work in your case.

    Under the rules governing the conduct of attorneys in New York it may be necessary to remind you that this answer could be considered attorney advertising.


  5. It may be that he already secured a divorce somewhere, somehow that you do not know about. You could also hire a private investigator to do a background check.

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