I live in New Jersey and I haven't seen my wife in 17 years. I want to divorce her so I can move on with my life.

Asked about 2 years ago - Newark, NJ

Her last whereabouts were in New York.

Attorney answers (6)

  1. James F Paguiligan

    Contributor Level 9

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    Answered . When you file your petition for divorce with the court, since your wife's whereabouts are unknown (somewhere in NY), she can be served by publication. Service by publication is running the notice of your divorce petition in the legal notices section of the newspaper. The amount of time the notice has to run for it to be valid service by publication varies from state to state. The court clerk at the court where you file your petition for divorce can tell you how long the notice has to run in the newspaper for it to be valid service by publication. Even if your wife never sees the notice in the newspaper, it is still valid service by publication. If you need anything additional feel free to contact my office anytime at 732-797-2400.

  2. Yolanda Navarrete

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . You may need to serve her through publication. Remaining married to her may hold you liable for certain things and be against your best interest. You will have to deal with this sooner or later. You may as well start. Ow.

    Please be advised my answers to questions does not constitute legal advise and you should not rely on it, due to... more
  3. Brian C Freeman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 10

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    Answered . Just contact my office and we can file a divorce complaint for you and end your marriage even if you don't know where she currently is living.

  4. David Perry Davis

    Contributor Level 17

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    Answered . I'm very surprised that none of the other answers indicated what will be involved. If you can't locate her, you will need to file a motion and obtain a judge's permission before you can proceed via publication.

    It can be tricky, and many judges have different standards for the hoops you'll have to jump through to provide you diligently tried to locate her. When the judge approves it, you'll publish a notice in the newspaper and that will be considered "service" of the complaint.

    It's probably easier and quicker to do this through counsel - it shouldn't cost much if the terms are uncontested and if there are no issues.

    To make the job easier for the attorney (and therefore cheaper for you), do your "homework" now on locating her - ask relatives (in writing and email), run internet searches, etc... do everything you can to prove you tried to find her. As I said, different judges require different things to prove you exhausted all efforts before they'll let you proceed via publication.

    You don't have to hire a lawyer to do this - there are sample forms on the judiciary's website: http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/prose/index.htm . Only you can weigh out the cost versus the time and emotional cost of proceeding yourself. You will need to "do this right", especially if you've obtained any assets (including retirement accounts) over the last 17 years.

    IF YOU LIKE THIS ANSWER AND APPRECIATE THE TIME IT TOOK TO WRITE IT, PLEASE SELECT IT AS "BEST ANSWER." Thanks.... more
  5. Jeffrey Anthony Skiendziul

    Contributor Level 16

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Serving your wife with the divorce papers is going to be the difficult part. My contact information is on my profile if you wish to discuss this matter further.

    DISCLAIMER This answer is provided for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you agree... more
  6. Cassandra T Savoy

    Contributor Level 9

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Contact me to file a complaint. In the event you do not know your spouse's address, we can still file. I look forward to hearing from you!

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Divorce

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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