What to Do When You Want to File for Divorce and Your Spouse Is MIA

Standard procedure for starting the divorce process requires one spouse be served with the divorce the last known address, or in person, if the spouse in question can be found somewhere else. However, if after you have made a "diligent effort" to find or get in contact with your spouse and still can’t get a hold of them, you may request an Order of Notice by Publication. This order means you must publicly run a notice of your desire to file for divorce, most commonly in a newspaper near where your spouse was last known to be. Typically speaking, this “legal advertisement” will run for around 3 weeks, thus giving your spouse adequate time to respond to the final notice. If your spouse still remains silent and no response is given, you may continue the divorce process without him or her.

The state of California states a "diligent effort" includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Searching the phonebook and directory assistance
  • Inquiring friends and relatives for your spouse’s whereabouts
  • Checking the post office for information about a forwarding address
  • Contacting the California DMV for auto registration

A common question when filing for divorce is: “if I cannot find my spouse can I still get a divorce? Additionally, many people wonder: “If my spouse does not respond can I still get a divorce?” In short, the response to both questions is yes. Following a thorough attempt, it is essential to satisfy the judge’s requirements that you did everything in your power to notify your spouse of the current situation. What’s more is, the court can enter orders regarding the dissolution of the marital estate, which includes division of property, assets, and debts along with orders affecting children such as custody, visitation, and child support.

Contact Our Beverly Hills Family Law Attorney Today

At Cary Goldstein, Esq., PC., we understand it can be incredibly stressful to start your life from scratch and end a marriage you intended to last forever. This is why our Beverly Hills family lawyers are so dedicated to ensuring your divorce process is as seamless as possible. We have one priority: ensuring you are taken care of until your divorce is successfully resolved.

Schedule an initial consultation with a member of our firm by calling us at (310) 935-0711.