unlawful employment termination - what's your next step?

unlawful employment termination - what's your next step?

What Do You Do When You Can't Find The Spouse You Want To Divorce?

Arthur Young

What do you do when you want to get divorced, but you can't find your spouse? You can't get divorced without giving your spouse notice (so that your spouse has the opportunity to respond to any property issues or other concerns). This can present quite a problem if your spouse has vanished, refuses to give you an address, or is just purposefully trying to avoid the paperwork.

A combination of traditional and high-tech methods can help resolve the problem:

Understand The Provisions In Your State

While the laws vary by state, all states have some way of handling the process of serving someone with divorce papers - even if you can't put the notice directly in that person's hands. Make sure that you understand the provisions in your specific state before you start.

You have to show that you've exercised "due diligence." In other words, you have to prove to the court's satisfaction that you've made a reasonable effort to find your spouse and notify him or her that you want a divorce. 

Try Old And New Methods Alike To Locate Your Absent Spouse

There are numerous ways that you can exercise due diligence. Some methods have been around for a long time while some have developed along with changes in current technology. Depending on the laws of your state, here's what you can try:

  • Have the paperwork served by the sheriff at your spouse's last known residence and place of employment.
  • Send the paperwork by certified mail to your spouse's last known residence and place of employment.
  • Contact his or her immediate relatives, or known family and friends.
  • Publish the notice in the "legal news" section of your local newspaper.
  • Publish a notice on the bulletin board of several "high traffic" public places in the county in which your spouse was last known to live (such as the public library, department of motor vehicle services, or local probate court).
  • Take out an ad in any specific trade journals or newspapers to which your spouse was known to subscribe.
  • Hire a private investigator.
  • Make attempts to get a location for your spouse through social media sites, including contacts or friends in common.
  • Notify him or her through social media.

It's only in an extremely recent ruling in New York that actually serving a spouse with divorce papers via social media has been permitted, but other states are likely to follow.

Document Every Step You Take

Documentation is key to proving due diligence when you want to convince the court that you're doing your best to locate your missing spouse. Make sure that you keep receipts for fees paid to the sheriff's office or newspapers, ask for return receipts when you send certified mail, and take screen shots of searches that you've made on social media pages. Keep a log of every friend, relative, or employer that you speak with about your spouse. 

If you suspect that your spouse is going to play "hard to find" when you go to file for divorce, talk to your divorce attorney about the problem so that you can get started early. Many states require multiple attempts to locate a missing spouse with a significant waiting period between each attempt, so starting early can get you through the divorce process faster.


2024© unlawful employment termination - what's your next step?
About Me
unlawful employment termination - what's your next step?

Have you recently been let go from your job? Do you feel that the termination was illegal in any way? It is time for you to stand up to unfair employment practices by your former employer. An employment attorney helped me get through an impossible time more easily. I had no idea how serious the repercussions for terminating my position could be for the company, nor did I know how much the company would owe me for doing so. Thankfully, the attorney took the time to answer each and every question that I had and discussed all of my options. I have included much of what I learned on my website to help others learn what they could be owed if they were unlawfully terminated from their jobs.