My husband left me in October and left a note, the extra key to may car and the joint bank cards. We've been married barely 3 years, no children, no house, just bills. He left me with all the bills to pay and left to an undisclosed location. He has since changed his cell phone number and place of employment.
His friends refuse to divulge any information so I am stuck in limbo. I have since moved to another county in Florida.
What are my options to dissolve this marriage without costly attorney fees?
Yes you can get a divorce if the spouse refuses to sign. Of course you will have to locate him, and you can do that by hiring a private investigator, probably. To avoid costly attorney fees, try it on an uncontested basis first, but again in order to do that you will have to locate him.
R. Jason de Groot, Esq. We do not have an attorney-client relationship. I am not your lawyer. The statements I make do not constitute legal advice. Any statements made by me are based upon the limited facts you have presented, and under the premise that you will consult with a local attorney. This is not an attempt to solicit business. This disclaimer is in addition to any disclaimers that this website has made. I am only licensed in Florida.
Yes, you can still get a divorce even if he's not willing to sign. If you are unable to hire a private investigator to track him down, you might be able to get permission from the Florida court for Alternative Service, which can take the form of posting a notice in local papers, taking it up at the court house, etc. You would file your complaint for divorce, and either at the same time or very soon after, file a Motion for Alternative Service, detailing your attempts to track him down and why you have been unsuccessful.
You can still get divorced. You need to attempt to find him and by diligent in your attempts to find him in order to use constructive service to serve him. That is service by publication and it is normally done in the legal ads section of a newspaper. However, before you can go to that step, you need to attempt to serve him at his last known address, then file an Affidavit of Diligent Search and Inquiry listing out all the steps you took to search for him and find him, and then do service by publication. Even then, the Courts are hesitant to say that it proper service and allow you to proceed forward. Otherwise, everyone would be doing it because it is a lot easier to get divorced when the other spouse does not even know it is happening. You probably should hire a private investigator to strength your chances that the Judge will allow you to proceed forward with the divorce by constructive service. This is really not something that you can probably do on your own successfully. So, I recommend that you hire an attorney to help you and to lend credibility to your claim that your Husband is not able to be found. Finally, you need to file in the county in which the marriage union was last intact and not where you currently live. So, you'll need to file it in Sarasota County, Good luck!
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