If you have had no contact with spouse for 16 years how do you go about getting a divorce?

Asked on July 30, 2012 under Family Law, Arkansas


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

As long as you meet the residency requirement in your state you can file for divorce.  The issue is serving the other party.  All states have statutes that deal with service.  In this type of case the court usually requires that you make a reasonable effort to locate your spouse  - called "due diligence"  - and that you document it for the court in an affidavit.  The you submit the affidavit to the court and request that they allow you to serve by alternate means - which is ususally publication in the newspaper.  They will set the terms, meaning the number of times it is to be published and swhich papers.  Once the publishing is complete the paper will give you proof of same and upon sublission to the court of the proof you should be able to obtain a divorce "on default."  Good luck.

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