How to Divorce a Missing Spouse in the USA

Can't find your "hubby" or "missus?" Whether they skipped out of town with another man or woman, or were taken away by aliens, you do have the right in the US to divorce someone if the statutes of limitations are observed. Here are some of the following steps it takes to get a divorce, and move on with your life.

Steps

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    Go to your local county clerk's office.
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    Request the documentation to file a divorce and an affidavit of service by publication.
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    Perform a newspaper legal notice.
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    Fill out any paperwork with all knowledge you have about your spouse and when and where you last saw them. Filling out the first document will start the proceedings, but filling out the second affirms legally you don't know where your spouse is.
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    Get it notarized. Don't sign the documents until you are in front of a notary. They will review the documents.
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    Once you submit the first two items to the county clerk, they will provide you with everything you will need for the third item. The notice will have the court case number and the date of the court hearing. Ask the clerk if you need to go to the newspaper to file the third piece or if they can file it for you.
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    If the non-responding spouse still remains out of the picture by the court date, you're home free. The divorce will be granted by whatever state you live in.

Tips

  • There will be fees involved, so make sure that you have some money to pay them.
  • Read as many resources as possible about the state of divorce in your particular state in the union.
  • Seek legal counsel if you feel you are not capable of navigating the legal system alone.
  • Always ask as many questions as possible that pertains to your situation. In some cases there may be issues with your particular situation (For example, your spouse is in a hospital bed in a comatose state).
  • If you are part of a bank, the bank usually has notaries and they will usually review and stamp for free.

Warnings

  • Do not hire a hitman or assassin to rid yourself of a spouse. This is usually found out about, and you will live the rest of your life in prison. This could especially be bad if there are children involved. Instead, go to the court clerk and request an emergency custody case and cite any abuses.
  • Do not try to lie about your spouse being missing. This could cause many new issues.
  • Do not expect anything immediate. Court cases and case-loads tend to be pretty long. Timing depends upon the weightiness of the current case-loads for that court and the judgement of the court as to what is a seemly time of waiting for a respondent to respond to the divorce petition. A typical summons done the "normal" way can be anywhere from 30-60 days. However, some courts in some cases can allow up to 6-months for a marriage trial pre-divorce.

Article Info

Categories: Divorce