How to Divorce a Missing Spouse in NY
Your spouse may not accept that you want a divorce. In fact, you may not even be able to locate your spouse in order to serve him or her with papers. If this is the case, you do not have to stay married for life. Instead, you need to know how to handle this issue when you want to get divorced in New York.
Try to Find Your Spouse
The court expects you to at least try to locate your spouse. You can do so by hiring a private investigator, or you can simply search on your own. You need to make an obvious effort to find your spouse, and once you provide evidence of this to the court, you will likely be granted divorce by publication. This means you need to publish your intent to divorce in a local paper for at least three weeks. This way, your spouse has a chance to find out about the impending divorce if he or she is still around and reads the paper. Once you have published the notice for three weeks, you may be granted your divorce.
Get a No Signature Divorce
If you have an address you believe your spouse lives at, you can have the divorce papers served there. He or she will have 20 days to reply to the papers. You cannot force him or her to respond by then, but you do have to ensure he or she knows about the divorce. When you hire a process server to drop off the papers, you know your spouse at least received them. Then it is up to him or her to respond in time. If this does not happen, you can show the court proof from the process server that the papers were given to your spouse, and the divorce might still proceed.
Have Your Spouse Agree to the Divorce
If you end up finding your spouse, or it turns out he or she was just ignoring you, it is possible for him or her to simply acknowledge the divorce papers. As long as your spouse signs and returns the papers that are served, there need be no further action on his or her part. The signed papers indicate your spouse knows about the divorce and is agreeing to it, resulting in an uncontested divorce. This way, you do not even have to see your husband or wife in person, which may be best if it turns out he or she has been hiding from you.
If you need to know more about how to serve your spouse with divorce papers, even when you are no longer in contact, you should call Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. Our experienced staff can give you some peace of mind by letting you know it is possible to get a divorce in New York even when you do not have regular contact with your spouse. Contact us today to start discussing your case.