If you cannot find your spouse, you can get divorced anyway. The process is much longer and more expensive than getting a regular divorce so we encourage you to do everything you can to find your spouse before you decide to go this route. You don't need to know their home address, but just have a place where they will agree to be served with the divorce papers - their place of work, a coffee shop, a friend's house and so on.
If you totally can't find your spouse, you will need to publish the divorce summons in a newspaper. You first must convince the Court you have made every effort to locate your spouse. We will provide you with a checklist of things to do. Depending on the Court, you may need to hire an investigator to search further. We will prepare a declaration for the Court detailing the efforts you have made to locate your spouse. The Judge will then decide if you have made all efforts and if you have, will issue an order for publication.
You will also need to research an appropriate newspaper in which to publish the summons. The newspaper must be on the Court approved list and should also be reasonably priced. You should be able to publish the summons for the cost of about $300 but could be as high as $750, so best to research this in advance.
Once the Publication Order is signed by the judge, we will ask you to send us a check for the newspaper so we can make the make the order to publish happen. The summons must be published for four consecutive weeks..
After four weeks, the newspaper will send us a proof of publication form for filing with the Court. Then your case is completed like any other default divorce case - hearing required if you have children, no hearing if you don't. The six month divorce clock starts ticking the 28th day from day one of publication and the divorce can be final in six months from that date.
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