Divorcing When You Don't Know Where Your Spouse Is

3 June 2018
 Categories: Law, Blog


Being abandoned by a spouse is a devastating event. As a legal spouse, you do have recourse if your spouse has abandoned you. The biggest problem will be dealing with the divorce process when you are dealing with the emotional turmoil. If your spouse has left and not come back intentionally and you now want a divorce, here are some ways to deal with divorcing when you are not certain where they are. 

Hire an attorney who can deal with extraordinary circumstances

When shopping for a divorce attorney, it will be a requirement to look for someone who can deal with issues that are out of the ordinary. Look for a divorce attorney who handles difficult divorces, as getting a divorce with an absentee spouse can be an issue. Be sure that your attorney understands that you do not have a location for your spouse and that they have not been in contact with you. The right attorney of the case will let you know that it is not an issue. 

Advertise for your spouse

For most divorces that have a spouse outside of the county, it will be important to advertise for them to answer the court case. Take out a newspaper advertisement in the town of their last known address. If you do not know their last known address, hire a private investigator to help you figure out their whereabouts. In some cases, you will be able to send a letter to the home of any family that they have lived with or to your own address to show that you have tried. Often, running an advertisement in the town newspaper will be sufficient in order to announce the divorce. 

Make the asset recovery clear

When a spouse has left and does not show up to contest the divorce, the asset division will be set by a judge. If your spouse did not show up to your divorce hearings, the court may have issued a settlement anyway. Be sure that you pay attention to the asset division and see to it that they are delivered to your ex-spouses known address or set aside and not used by you. In the event that your spouse does not come back to reclaim physical property, you and your lawyer may be able to claim that the property has also been abandoned and you will be able to reclaim the property by adjusting your divorce decree.