How can I go about getting a divorce from someone without them knowing?

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How can I go about getting a divorce from someone without them knowing?

I am married and want a divorce but anytime I bring it up my husband threatens to leave that same day, I need him for childcare reasons to watch our children so if he leaves I will lose my job. I want to get through most of the divorce paperwork discreetly, I also found incriminating evidence on his phone that can put him in jail but don’t want to confront him with fear that he will kidnap our children or something worse. He is mentally unstable. I am also low income and cannot afford a lawyer at this time.

Asked on July 6, 2012 under Family Law, Washington

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation.   But there really is no way that you can get a divorce with out serving him with the paperwork at some point in time.  Otherwise the courts will not have what is called "jurisdiction" over your husband which is the ability to make a decision that will affect him.  If you do serve him and he does not respond then you can get a default order against him and get a divorce but you will not be able to control his behaviour.  If you are low income then can you qualify to go and see a legal aid attorney?  Please try.  Good luck.


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