Whether your spouse has fled the country or is hiding out and you can’t locate them, there is always the alternative to divorce by a Motion to Serve by Publication or Posting. This will be granted by the judge and you will have the option of serving your spouse by publishing the motion in a newspaper or in the courthouse if sufficient funds can’t be managed to purchase the space in a newspaper. However, this option is not readily granted by the courts and the judge must deem that sufficient effort to locate the missing spouse has been made.
The law does not specifically cite the necessary steps to be taken and ultimately it is up to the judge to make the decision, but here are some techniques that will help in proving that you have made ample effort to locate your spouse:
- Make note of the last time you had contact with your spouse
- Check your spouse’s address or frequented establishments in person and by mail
- Check your spouse’s job location in person and by mail
- Contact your spouse’s friends and family members. If they claim they don’t know the whereabouts of your spouse, make note of that
- Research their social media use and attempt to make contact digitally
- Check the criminal courts, both locally and federally
- Check with correctional treatment facilities
- Check with hospitals and local homeless shelters for possible admittance or sightings
- Check with the DMV for recent vehicle citations
- Check the Social Security Death Index for an update to their records
These are only some of the steps you can take to locate your spouse. These are not the only options, but they will start you in the right direction. If you have any further questions about what to do if you can’t locate your spouse or have any divorce-related issues, contact the family law attorneys of the Roberts Law Firm today at (636) 590-4864.