How to Get a Divorce When You Can’t Find Your Spouse

Florida law requires notice of any action that will affect a person’s legal rights including a divorce case.  Notice means you inform the opposing party of the actions that you are taking in court.  Notice can be an issue if you need to know how to get a divorce when you can’t find your spouse. Generally, Florida divorce law will require you locate and personally serve the opposing with the divorce petition.  Thus, if you are unable to locate your spouse you will need to take other steps to provide proper notice.  Service/ notice can be a complex issue with many procedural requirements. Therefore, if you need assistance it is best to retain a divorce attorney to assist with these matters. A divorce attorney in Tampa should be able to take care of the notice issues for you.

How to Get a Divorce When You Can’t Find Your Spouse – The Diligent Search & Inquiry

Under Florida divorce laws regarding the notice requirement, your spouse will need to be located and served before you can move forward with the dissolution of marriage (also known as divorce.) Fortunately, if you can’t find the opposing party there are still options on how to get a divorce when you can’t find your spouse.  The first step is to complete a diligent search and inquiry to attempt to find the opposing party. A good divorce attorney can help you with an investigation to find your spouse.  In many circumstances, an investigation by a divorce lawyer will result in a successful location of the opposing party.

Should the opposing party not be able to be located, the court will allow for other ways to notice the opposing party, as long as the petitioner has done a proper diligent search and inquiry. See Hobe Sound v. First Union. Please note, Florida divorce law has very strict requirements for the diligent search and inquiry phase of the case. See Florida Statute 49.011. It is highly recommended to hire a divorce law firm to assist with the case. This can be the most difficult part of trying to accomplish a divorce when you can’t find your spouse

How to Get a Divorce When You Can’t Find Your Spouse with Constructive Service

Constructive service can be used to get a divorce when you can’t find your spouse.  Constructive service means “serving”  in a non-traditional way.  When constructive service is involved, a court can grant a dissolution of marriage (divorce) but cannot establish paternity, award child support or alimony, and it may affect the court’s ability to settle marital assets and debt claims.  Therefore, you should contact a divorce lawyer to inquire whether serving via constructive service is appropriate for your case. If constructive service is not feasible, a divorce lawyer should be able to provide other solutions for how to get a divorce when you can’t find your spouse.

How to Get a Divorce When You Can’t Find Your Spouse With Publication in a Newspaper

If you are unable to locate the opposing party, publication in a newspaper can solve the issue of how to get a divorce when you can’t find your spouse. The publication advising of the divorce case will need to run in a local newspaper for four consecutive weeks.  Also,  there should be a fee charged by the newspaper for the publication. Each case is different, but newspaper publication fees are usually around $200. The opposing party will have thirty days from then to respond and challenge the case.

In most cases, your divorce will move forward utilizing traditional service after your divorce attorney has assisted you in locating the opposing party.  If personal service is not complete, there may be other options to get divorced and even your name changed. However, because outcomes are limited in certain cases when constructive service is used, you should consult with an experienced Tampa divorce lawyer before moving forward with service by publication to ensure it’s the best solution for how to get a divorce when you can’t find your spouse.

Tampa Divorce Law Firm

If you are contemplating filing for divorce call us today to speak with divorce attorney for a free case review. We are a divorce law firm with years of experience helping people resolve their divorce and child custody disputes. Every divorce is different, and our vast experience allows us to cater our services to each client’s individual situation. Whether a couple mutually agrees to the terms of a divorce or are engaged in a fierce battle for their property and child custody rights, Florida Law Advisers, P.A. can help. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and offer a free initial consultation. Call us today at 800 990 7763 to speak with a divorce attorney at our divorce law firm.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get divorce if I don’t know where my spouse is?
Do I need my spouse to sign for divorce in Florida?
Can I file for divorce in a newspaper?
What is a default divorce?
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