Asking the court to declare your husband as deceased is a drastic step to obtain a divorce. Especially if he happens to be alive someplace. This may be how they handle it in California, but in Massachusetts you can still ask for a divorce, even if you cannot locate your husband. Service can be made by publication if his whereabouts are not known.
You will be able to get a divorce, but without service upon him obtaining alimony or child support may be more difficult. You should contact a local attorney, such as myself, to discuss the matter and your options.
DISCLAIMER: This answer is provided in response to a "hypothetical" question and provided for general, informational purposes and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The information presented is not legal advice and may change based additional information and research. It is recommended that you speak to an attorney to discuss your specific legal issues.
You can still divorce your missing spouse. Declaring him dead is definitely NOT the way to go!
You need to file for a divorce with alternate service by publication.
Give me a call if you need help.
Simple solution to your divorce problems, simply give me a call and I'll give you a free consultation and you can decide what to do next. Massachusetts is a very good state to get divorced in. The main obstacle you will have is that of "notice" where you are required to serve your spouce with the papers. This is a complicated but simple task. It requires a hearing before a judge and then a few steps to follow. Then, presuming your spouse ignores the notice you go forward as if your spouce is not contesting the divorce.
Again, feel free to call: Joseph Chancellor (617) 725-2675