How do I get a divorce, if I don’t know where my husband is?

We have been separated for 26 years.

Asked on January 16, 2013 under Family Law, Georgia


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

This type of situation is more common than you might realize. In a situation such as yours, you can get what is known as a "divorce by default". You'll have to have your papers prepared and filed with the appropriate court. At that point, a citation (or equivalent) will be issued and your spouse will have to be served. In such a case, you can "serve" the divorce complaint via a what is called a "notice by publication". This is used when a "respondent-spouse" (your husband) cannot be located by the "petitioner-spouse" (you).

The way this works is that the respondent is notified of the divorce proceedings by publishing a notice in a local paper in the area of their last known address. Then, after a specified time period (typically 30 days), if your spouse does not answer they will default; you will then file your final paperwork and appear before the judge (generally in 60 or so days). At that point, a divorce will then granted on the terms that you requested.

At this point, you need to consult directly with a divorce attorney in your area.

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