wikiHow to Divorce a Wife Who Left the State

After your marriage breaks up, your wife may leave the state before you can finalize a divorce. She may want to return to the state her family lives in, take a job elsewhere or just hope that by leaving she can avoid the painful process of dividing your marital assets. However, you can still get a divorce if your wife has left the state, even if you don't know where she is.

Steps

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    Write up a petition for the dissolution of your marriage. You can hire an attorney to do this for you, or you can find examples at the courthouse or online and fill in the details particular to your situation. You can also buy a "divorce kit" with blank forms you can use.
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    File the petition in the locality where you live, assuming that you and your wife lived together in that locality. If you have moved since your wife left, you may have to file in the jurisdiction you lived in when you last lived together. You will have to pay a fee to file.
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    Arrange with the courthouse to have your wife served with a summons. The summons will say that you are filing for divorce and state how long she has to respond to the suit. You can serve her by mail or pay for a process server to hand the summons to your wife.
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    Try to find your wife's address if you don't know it. You can search tax records and property appraiser's records to try to locate her, or ask the sheriff's office to search their database. You may also want to contact her family or hire a private investigator to try to find her.
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    File a notice in a newspaper stating that you have exhausted all avenues in your search for your wife and are filing for divorce. This is called service by publication. The court will tell you if you can do this and what newspapers you should file the notice in.
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    Give an affidavit to the court detailing your efforts to find you wife and stating that you know of no other way to find her.
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    Wait until your wife fails to respond to the summons and ask for a default judgment from the court. The judge will probably grant you everything you ask for in the petition for dissolution of your marriage.

Tips

  • Consider hiring a lawyer. Divorcing when spouses live in different states can get complicated, and a lawyer should ensure that you don't make any costly mistakes.

Warnings

  • Take care to research the laws in your state. Each state has different requirements for divorce, including the possibility that your wife must be absent for a specific period of time before you can file.


Article Info

Categories: Divorce