What can I do to obtain a divorce if I do not know exactly where my wife is residing?

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What can I do to obtain a divorce if I do not know exactly where my wife is residing?

She left me 24 years ago and disappeared.

Asked on February 6, 2012 under Family Law, Missouri

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can file your petition for divorce with the court, but will need to serve your wife by publication since you don't know her whereabouts.  Service by publication is running a notice of your petition for divorce in the legal notices section of a newspaper.  The notice will need to run in the newspaper for a specific period of time.  The required period of time varies from state to state.  The court clerk can tell you how long the notice has to run in the newspaper for it to be effective service by publication.  If your wife never sees the notice, it is still valid service by publication.


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