Divorcing a Missing Spouse in Texas
If you are unable to locate your spouse, but want to file for divorce in Texas, you have a few options.
Can I divorce a spouse who lives somewhere else?Most likely, yes. This is a jurisdictional question in Texas and the answer depends on how long you have resided in the state and in your county. If you have been a resident of Texas and a resident of the county in which you intend to file for at least 6 months, you may file for divorce regardless of where your spouse resides.
How do I give my spouse notice of the divorce?A more frequent issue that arises in the case of divorcing a missing spouse is the problem of giving them notice that you have filed for divorce. Notice and the opportunity to be heard by the court are fundamental precepts of the American legal system, so this is naturally a matter that must be addressed in the proper manner.
Ordinarily, personal service is best, and should be attempted first if you can locate your spouse. But there are other options for service, including service of notice of the divorce by publication, such as in the local newspaper. These alternate methods must be approved by the court, however, and a qualified family law attorney should be consulted.
At the same time, you should make every effort to determine where your spouse or your spouse's relatives, friends, or co-workers are, and how they may be contacted. The more information you can gather and provide, the less expensive this process will be--even if you do not determine your spouse's precise location, the additional information will help the court.