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How to serve a spouse custody papers if you don't know where they reside or work?

Bronx, NY |

Person has not resided in the home for over 6 months. He had a Po Box but the court won't recognize it and he has a cell but is being uncooperative. He resides somewhere in Florida. She cannot afford a Private investigator to locate him. Does she have any other way to have papers served without any address or job information. If he is working? She lives in Bronx, NY with her 2 daughters that are minors.
Thank You I really hope your answer can help my friend.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. The petitioner could ask the court for permission to serve at his last known address. Unfortunately service will have to be completed. Good luck.

    I have been a criminal attorney in New York for almost 25 years. website: Brooklynlaw.net Phone #: 718-208-6094 email: howard@brooklynlaw.net. This answer is only for informational purposes and is not meant as legal advice.


  2. The petitioner could ask the court for permission to serve at his last known address. Unfortunately service will have to be completed. Good luck.

    I have been a criminal attorney in New York for almost 25 years. website: Brooklynlaw.net Phone #: 718-208-6094 email: howard@brooklynlaw.net. This answer is only for informational purposes and is not meant as legal advice.


  3. You can ask to serve my alternative means such as publication in a newspaper but you will need to show that you have made a due dilligent effort to find him and it is likely to cost several thousand dollars.

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at Eric@RothsteinLawNY.com. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


  4. The problem with asking for substituted service is that the Court usually requires a diligent search to find him first. If petitioner cannot afford a private investigator, then she may qualify for court-assigned counsel - she should ask for it. Then the court-assigned counsel can ask the court to authorize payment for an investigator to perform the diligent search. In any event, should you/she have additional questions, then I encourage you/she to call a Bronx Co. Child Custody lawyer to schedule a consultation.

    * If you found my answer to be helpful, or the "best answer," please feel free to mark it accordingly.

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