CanI sue for divorce ifI can’t find my husband?

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CanI sue for divorce ifI can’t find my husband?

I tried having the sheriffs serve my husband papers and they weren’t able to find him. He also doesn’t respond to my emails. What do I do next?

Asked on October 12, 2010 under Family Law, Colorado

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can. In fact, this type of situation is more common than you might think. You can get what is known as a "divorce by default".  You'll have to have your papers prepared and filed with the court.  At that point a citation or the like will be issued and your spouse will need to be served.  In this case, you can "serve" the divorce complaint via a "notice by publication".  This is used when a "respondent-spouse" (your husband) cannot be located by the "petitioner-spouse" (you) in a divorce proceeding. 

The way this works is that the respondent is notified of the divorce proceedings by publishing  notice in a local paper in the area of their last known address.  Then, after a specified time period (generally 30 days or so), if your spouse does not answer and defaults, you will then file your final paperwork and appear before the judge (usually in 60 days).  Typically, a divorce is then granted on the terms that you requested.


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