How doI get divorced from my husband ifI have no idea where he is?

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How doI get divorced from my husband ifI have no idea where he is?

I was married for almost 6 years and have been separated for 4. How do I get a divorce the cheapest way?

Asked on November 17, 2011 under Family Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Before any legal action can be taken against a person, they must be given an opportunity to appear in court and explain their side of things. This is what is called legal "notice".  In the case of a divorce, if a spouse cannot be located, then there is something known as a "divorce by publication" which is a remedy that allows for a divorce when the missing spouse cannot personally be served with notice of the filing 

The Petitioner (i.e. the filing spouse) must make a diligent effort to find the Respondent (i.e. the missing spouse). The Petitioner has to present proof to a court that they made a good faith search to uncover their spouse's whereabouts. At that point, the Petitioner will be allowed to "serve" the Repondent notice by publishing the fact in a newspaper. The judge will then instruct the Petitioner as to which newspaper should be used (usually one that is in the area of the Respondent's last known whereabouts). 

The Respondent then will have 30-60 days to file their answer (depending on the jurisdiction). If they fail to file, the Petitioner can then request to enter a "default divorce". Such a divorce is typically granted upon the terms that the Petitioner requests (although the Respondent is given a certain period of time in which they can appeal).

At this point you need to consult directly with a divorce attorney in your area. They can best advise you as to your rights and how to proceed.


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