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How Do I Find Out if My Spouse is Still Alive to Apply for a Divorce?

Anonymous Asked:

We have been separated for 33 years and I would like to get a divorce.I don't know where he is. The last time I heard he had fallen off a roof and broken his back and had 3 heart attacks.I have tried searching for him online, but have been unsuccessful.How do I get a divorce when I can't find him?

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Jennifer M. Long, B.A. J.D.
5 years ago

In these kinds of circumstances, you can ask the court to make an order for substituted service, allowing you to serve the documents by a different means or on a different person (for example a family member), if it is reasonable that this method of service will bring the documents to your husband’s attention. In order to obtain such an order, you will need to show what steps you have taken to find him, and that you have exhausted all possible means of locating him.

Alternatively, if substituted service will not reasonably bring the documents to his attention, you can ask the court for an order dispensing with service. You will need to show that reasonable efforts to locate your husband have not been, or would not be, successful and that there is no method of substituted service that could reasonably be expected to bring the documents to his attention. I strongly recommend that you speak with a lawyer about your situation in greater detail to determine how best to move forward.

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