How do I obtain a divorce without knowing where my wife is and she won’t sign nor meet at a safe location to discuss this?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How do I obtain a divorce without knowing where my wife is and she won’t sign nor meet at a safe location to discuss this?

I’ve been married for a little over 10 years. It’s been an off and on again type of relationship. She has dated since we separated. No kids,no property to divide,she has abandoned me several times after putting me in troublesome situations and has

issues like abuse to anyone who doesn’t agree with her views or does what she wants. Harassing me and my family even has made fake profiles and gave out my sister’s number on a dating site.

Asked on December 5, 2016 under Family Law, Illinois


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

As with any legal action, any person named in a legal action needs to be given notice of it. That means that in this case you will have to serve your spouse in order to give her an opportunity to answer the complaint. However, in a case such as yours where a spouse cannot be found, you can serve your wife notice via "publication". This means that you can put a notice in a newspaper in the area of her last known location; the court will instruct in what newspapers to do this. After that, if you she does not respond, then you can proceed with the case and a "divorce by default" can be granted. As a general rule, a person can file for their own divorce and most states have websites to guide them through the process. That having been said, you may want to consult directly with a divorce attorney.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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