Skip to main content

How hard would it be to dissolve my marriage when, i haven't seen or heard from my husand in 31 years?

Attleboro, MA |
Attorney answers 4

Best Answer

The biggest issue would be properly serving him notice of divorce proceedings. Other than that it should be a simple matter but I would look for a local attorney who offers Limited Assistance Representation to assist with advising you on serving him.

If you are in Massachusetts, my answering of your question does not constitute an attorney/client relationship and are for informational purposes only. If you wish to contact me to discuss your question further I offer a 30 minute free consultation and can be reached at 413-522-6263. If you are not in Massachusetts I am not giving you legal advice as I am not licensed in your state and my comments should be viewed as for informational purposes only.


As my colleague metions, one of the issues would be service of process. This could likely be acheived through constructive service of process such as publication of notice in the local newspaper. I suggest that you consult with a local attorney who can assist you in filing for divorce. I wish you all the best.


I would only add that the court will likely require that you perform some kind of search for him. Typically this is satisfied by hiring a private investigator to search for him using any known information, such as names and aliases, birthdate, social security number, etc. After the investigator exhausts their resources then they will provide you with an affidavit, which you can provide to the court and request that you have leave to complete service through publication. At that time you will be able to proceed with a default divorce, assuming you don't find him. Good luck!


Our office has handled divorces like the one that you describe. The challenge when you have a missing spouse, a homeless spouse, or simply an unknown address for a spouse, is how to serve them with process (court papers). In such a case, you can request permission of the court to serve your spouse by publication. You will need a certified copy of your marriage license, and you will need to jump through a few procedural hurdles, but you should be able to become divorced without too much trouble. I strongly recommend that you retain counsel to assist you, as it can make dealing with the courts, court procedure, and attending your final hearing a much simpler and less stressful process. In the event that your spouse does not contest or file an answer in the divorce, it would not likely be an expensive ordeal.

Christopher Vaughn-Martel is a Massachusetts lawyer with the firm of Vaughn-Martel Law in Boston, Massachusetts. All answers are based on Massachusetts law and the limited facts presented by the questioner. All answers are provided to the general public for educational purposes only and no attorney-client relationship is formed by providing an answer to a question. To schedule a consultation with a lawyer, and obtain advice and review of your specific legal issue, please call us today at 617-357-4898 or visit us at