I Don’t Know Where My Ex Is, Can I Still File For Divorce?
In many cases filing for a divorce can be a stressful process, add to that the fact that you have no idea where to find your ex, that process can appear to be impossible. Chances are that you have put off filing a divorce time and time again simply because you didn’t know if the law would allow you to file for a divorce without the physical involvement of your spouse. It seems apparent that you would need to serve papers, but where? Rest assured that you absolutely can get divorced in New Jersey, even if you don’t know where to find your spouse.
When You Can Divorce
In order to qualify for filing a divorce in the state of New Jersey, there is no legally required waiting period. You will not have to prove that you and your spouse do not live in the same home or prove how long you have been apart from one another in order to file. As long as you have been married for a minimum of 6 months in the state of New Jersey, you are free to file for divorce.
Spouse Cannot Be Located, What Now?
It may be incomprehensible or unbelievable to grasp the idea that a person, your spouse, cannot be found. What with a reported 69% of adults using social media and 88% of those between 18-29 using Social Media, it’s almost hard to fathom that an ex cannot be located, however, it’s actually very common. Regardless of why your spouse has gone off of the radar, it does not mean that you have to be bound to this person for the rest of your life. You have the ability to use a publication option.
So How Do I Go About Divorcing My Missing Spouse?
It’s safe to say that this can get complicated so it’s best to seek the advice of an experienced New Jersey Divorce Lawyer. This will ensure that you not only understand the procedures involved but that you follow them properly and stay within the bounds of the New Jersey legal system.
Business As Usual
First things first, as in the normal course of any New Jersey divorce filing, your attorney will likely file the divorce and attempt to serve your spouse at the last known address. This will involve a process server and it’s possible that your attorney will seek any known locations from you (for your spouse) and attempt to have him or her served at these locations.
Exhausting Your Options
Once your attorney has exhausted efforts to serve your spouse without success at any last known location, the attorney can proceed with a Notice By Publication through the court. In this case, you will run the notice in a publication (newspaper) that covers the area where your spouse was last known to have resided. This will generally take a few weeks so, keep that in mind, this is not a quick fix divorce process. It takes time to run the notice in the paper and allow time for your spouse to read and respond to the notice.
End Of The Road
If your spouse does not respond to the last notice, your attorney will then proceed with your divorce. This requires that a marshal attests to the publication and that newspaper notice will be used in your filing. The judge assigned to your case must believe that you have satisfactorily attempted to provide notice and that divorce will ultimately be granted as a default divorce.
Get Help With Your Divorce
While the process to divorce a missing spouse can seem overwhelming, the help of a qualified New Jersey Family Law attorney can be vital in ensuring that you meet every requirement to fulfill your obligations in a divorce by publication. Call for assistance today.